Some Psychological Phases of Internationalism
John Frederick Dashiell
The problem of problems of the present and immediate future is, of course, reconstruction, a problem that does not so much supersede all others as include all others. After the emotional and romantic months of war —for even though it has been the most scientific and rationally conducted war probably in all history, there have been those moments of irrationality, those acts of haste, and stanzas if not hymns of hate —after the war comes the time for cool, judicious thinking. The tasks of peace are to be fulfilled not so much by enthusiasm as by calculation, not so much by coining, shouting, and following shibboleths as by rational and scientific analysis of problems. It is to be reconstruction. Yet in the American mind that word still retains some of the flavor given it by the events following the Civil War, and in one sense it may not seem inaccurate to caution, "Beware of reconstruction ! " Carpet baggers of the olden time may be sand baggers today. If, then, this is to be reconstruction in the true sense, it must be founded not upon passion but reason. Like philosophy in Santayana's definition, it must "look to sciences for its view of the facts and to the happiness of men on earth for its ideal."
But, say some, this great war has demonstrated the failure of science. And proceeding from this premise they have deduced the necessity of man to turn from this dangerous tool to less rationalistic and intellectual interpretations of- life, even to mystical religion. It has been shown by Dewey and others, however, that if the war has been the failure of science, science has failed just because in the human development of all those methods and points of view we call scientific we have failed or have not yet had time to apply them to social and political phenomena. While the phenomena of physics and biology are to a striking degree understood
( 758) and hence subject to human control, the facts of men in their inter-relations are as yet in the stage of rough observation and first generalizations. The literature of sociology in particular seems to consist largely of attempts to define and re-define that field, to block out its relations to other -ologies, and, in a quite preliminary way, to see just about what general sorts of problems fall therein.
This is not to deny that there are some details of scientific knowledge of man in his social relations. Economics, for example, is a fairly well organized field — even though some of its working concepts seem riding before a fall — and anthropology has rolled up its sleeves and set to work at some well limited and defined problems. Whatever, then, that is available in the way of data or even of well ripened opinions from the studies of the social man promises in these coming days of world reconstruction to find use and application. Social scientists may well consider the opportunity theirs. Reconstruction, I hinted, embraces problems whose name is legion; and as a scientific approach means first of all an analysis and delimitation of problems, a careful division of the questions involved in reconstruction would seem a first necessity. Further, a scientific approach involves a canvassing of established facts or well-received authoritative judgments that are in any way applicable to questions attacked.
A topic that is to be central in reconstruction programs is internationalism. And under this head problem are to be found numerous sub-problems. Those preaching internationalism as an aim of the war have in the next breath proclaimed for nationalism. Obviously, it is not the idea of a world cosmopolitanism such as a Roman Stoic contemplated any more than it is a laissez faire policy for irresponsible individual states such as led up to the war just passing. It must he what Herbert Croly has called a "method of escape from the .. . baleful antithesis between national ambition and international order." An internationalism of universal scope has been dreamed of, sung of, but only in these latter days has it been put forward seriously as a practical and states-manlike solution. A fundamental query oft-repeated has been, "Will it work ? " "Will it be possible for lion and lamb to lie
( 759) down together?" Can rival nationalistic ambitions be reconciled ?" As a subdivision of this question let us ask what answer the available data and available opinions on the psychology of peoples may seem to suggest to the query, "Will it work ? "
It is to be noted that in many, perhaps most, minds internationalism means inter-racialism; and the question before us resolves itself into whether such rivals as —Bulgar and Greek, Bohemian and Teuton, Japanese and Australian will be able to group themselves into one and the same league of races.
But first, what is a race ? On this ethnologists themselves are not agreed-all the way from Ripley who makes the well-known division of European peoples into Northern, Alpine, and Mediterranean races, to Thomas who holds that strictly speaking there are no races in Europe, only language-groups. Whatever technical use of the term shall ultimately be adopted, it is one too well entrenched in present human thinking and one too useful as emphasizing traditional divisions of mankind for us to neglect here. Let us see what content is to be given it.
The question as to what a race is turns on the answer to the more definite question: What are the differences between races ? Anthropologists are wont to use some such divisions as physical, mental, linguistic, and cultural differences. The marks most generally used are, of course, physical differences. For one thing, peoples have been exhaustively studied with reference to head-form. The cephalic index, or width of head times 100 written over length of head, differentiates races such as the Sicilians or the Teutons with their long, narrow head, from the Swiss or the Lapps with short, broad heads. Stature has served also as a distinguishing mark, the differences between Caucasian and Mongolian, between North European and South European, being well known. Hair texture has been found to vary with the grosser divisions of man-kind, the negro having the crisp, curly variety flattened in cross-section, the Chinese and the American Indian having the stiff, straight hair round in cross-section. Color of hair, as also color of eye and of skin, has been considered important; and it may be mentioned that many authorities hold that skin-color, whatever its
( 760) scientific value, is of great importance psychologically in understanding racial antipathies. Finally the facial oval and the pro-portions of the various features form another much-used differentia.
Even though these various differentiating marks have failed to correlate accurately when it comes to the working out of a history and distribution of distinct races, nevertheless they have had such attention as to warrant our consideration of the critical work of some of the latter-day anthropologists. The common assumption is that physical differences of race are stationary and permanent. Boas, the foremost of American anthropologists, has made a detailed study of this matter, especially among the immigrant peoples of New York. The East European Jews in their original homes are of a more or less decided type, with heads short and round, and of medium or low stature. Those that are born of these same parents in America, however, are found by actual measurement to be departing from the extreme ancestral type-their heads are longer and narrower and their stature increased. So with other races. The long-headed Sicilian if horn in this same American environment shows a shorter wider head than that of his ancestors, with a slight decrease in ,stature. The changes in Bohemians and in Hungarians are still different. The American-born of these people differ from their European-born kindred in the possession of shorter and narrower heads, taller stature, and narrower faces. The matter is the more interesting in that the relation between the date of the change and the time of arrival of the parents in America is close; that is to say, children born just after the landing of the parents in America show unmistakably the changes in head-form, whereas their brother by the same parents born in Europe not long before the immigration show the ancestral types. As to stature—a trait that is much more susceptible to change after birth — it is found that the younger the immigrant at the time of landing, the more does his adult height vary from the ancestral model. Furthermore, Fritsch has stated that human beings under civilized conditions differ in one respect from humans in savagery just as do domesticated animals in general from their wild congeners. In either case, domestication seems to be associated with a heavier and more open bony structure, wildness
( 761) with a slenderer and more solid structure. Add to this the report of other investigators that Irish-American and German-American recruits are taller than their brothers in the old countries. There can be but one conclusion from all this careful and exact work: so far as anatomical traits are concerned, racial types are instable, plastic, and are subject to environmental influences almost and perhaps quite sufficient to neutralize the characteristic features supposedly due to racial heredity.
Differences of race have been thought of also as mental differences. The stubbornness of the English, canniness of the Scot, mechanical plodding of the German, pacifism of the Chinese, pessimism of the Hindu, shiftlessness and sensuality of the negro —these and like characterizations of groups of people are too familiar to need repetition. They are indulged in to a degree implying their permanence as types. The mental differences between peoples have been revived and made much of in the service of such political propagandas as Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism, Anglophobia, etc. Are such individual distinctions supported by scientific research ? Does psychological examination establish any particular people as the chosen of God?
From the foregoing remarks on the lack of fundamental and permanent physical differences between races of men, the corollary suggests itself that mental differences too may be found to be much less than expected. What of the facts? The psychologist will promptly and properly warn us that the measurement and comparison of complex mental traits is extraordinarily difficult, that the truer scientific method of approach would be by the study of simpler and more directly measurable capacities. Myers, studying the natives of Torres Strait, Woodworth, studying various races assembled at the Saint Louis Exposition, and other well-equipped investigators find for one thing that the keenness of the senses is about on a par in the various races of mankind. In speed of simple motor reactions, in liability to illusions, in memory, in concentrated attention, in self-control or inhibitions, even in capacity for abstract thinking, differences between races are slight indeed, and in no way comparable to the differences between individuals within the same race. In only one trait has a difference
( 762) been brought to light: in solving a test of intelligence, i.e., ability to size up a novel situation and to limit activity to its working out, the Indians, Eskimos, Filipinos, some whites, and other races were found superior to the Igorats, Negritos, and Pygmies. But among the former or among the latter, differences were insignificant. Racial comparisons as to temperament have not been made the subject of exact study, though it seems possible that more definite inequalities may here be found. The only conclusion to be drawn from the scientific investigation of racial mental differences is that in the more fundamental intellectual processes no real unlikenesses of importance are found, and that where striking intellectual differences seem to appear, very much account must be taken of their respective environments, social and cultural as well as physical. Racial distinctions, then, are not to be based upon inequalities of mental endowment.
A third differentia used has been that of language. Particularly in regard to European peoples the ethnologists have used affinity of language as indicative of affinity of race. Only a few words are needed on this head. In ancient as well as in modern times there have been races or nationalities without a common language. Consider the Jew in his various habitations, and the many human stocks not yet assimilated in the United States but speaking English. Surely exhaustive scientific analysis is not needed to make it clear that language is largely an accident of social environment.
So also for the cultural differences as marking off races. Below the more or less superficial contrasts of manners and morals of separate races a fundamental sameness of forms of human thought and culture are observable. As Thomas puts it, "Ethnology and kindred sciences have already established the fact that human nature, the external world, and the fundamental needs of life are everywhere much alike, and that there is, roughly speaking, a parallelism of development in all groups, or a tendency in every group which advances at all to take the same steps as those taken by other groups." Some of the parallelisms he mentions are: a spirit belief along with ecclesiastical institutions, blood revenge preceding juridical institutions, matriarchal preceding patriarchal organization, artistic and mythological concepts of the same
( 763) general pattern, and common possession of concepts of number, space, time, etc.
To conclude this general point: Not only is no one of these racial differentia a true differentia, but also there is no great correlation between them, for Boas has pointed out that each of these traits may be and has been changed by a group without changing the other traits. Surely, as Todd has said in his recent book, "Race is psychological," and "'There is nothing either Jew or Greek but thinking makes it so.' Nationality, then, whatever it is, is not necessarily nor perhaps primarily a matter of race; nor, in so far as racial elements do seem to enter in, do these form insurmountable barriers, threatening the whole idea of inter-nationalism.
The first meaning of "nation" given by lexicographers is a stock or race; the second meaning is a community of people in a given territory with an independent government. Nationality today is by many associated with the idea of a political state. "Self-determination " "autonomy," are employed as political terms. The next problem for our examination may be put thus: Conceiving nationality as a matter of political states regardless of the racial characters of the populations, will internationalism work ? Is there anything in the idea of an autonomous government as evolved by a people to which a permanent inter-government organization would be repugnant ? Are the human motives prompting to state organization logically and psychologically opposed to a further extension of the allegiance to include rival states ?
To approach this matter let us take up the psychological analysis of the group-building process in general, trusting this to furnish some data as well as a perspective relevant to the question. Parenthetically it is to be noted that on this general topic there are not available data possessing definiteness comparable with head measurements in millimeters; and we are limited to a canvass of the opinions and judgments of the best acknowledged authorities.
Perhaps the best known theory of the psychical origin of human society is that of Giddings: "The original and elementary subjective fact in society is the consciousness of kind. By this term I mean a state of consciousness in which any being, whether low or
( 764) high in the scale of life, recognizes another conscious being as of like kind with itself." "It is about the consciousness of kind, as a determining principle, that all the other motives organize them-selves in the evolution of social choice, social volition, or social policy." "The consciousness of kind . . , is at once perception and feeling." A somewhat different method of analysis is that of McDougall, Petrucci, and Graham Wallas. Social groupings are instinctive in origin. It is the original human tendencies to act gregariously, sexually, sympathetically, protectingly, imitatively, etc., toward others that prompt the formation of associations. These sporadic social relations then become more and more constant and stable under the influence of human tendencies to be suggestible, to imitate, to follow beaten paths, etc., made so much of by Tarde and by Baldwin and Ross. Habit or inertia become increasingly important in the stabilizing of groups, and gradually customs and tradition assume an increasingly dominant rate.
Meanwhile, according to Ross, associations developed on a basis of resemblance between individuals in the primitive, impulsive stages give place in the more rational stages to associations on a basis of community of interests. This suggests to the present writer a modification of the Giddings theory. Observation of the behavior of animals, children, and human adults would suggest that social relations come to be established, not on a basis of a recognition or feeling of similarities between the other and oneself, but on the basis of the experience of complementary or identical interests and acts. The unsophisticated child associates readily with any other who will share and increase his fun, regardless of whether he be tidy or frowsy, big or little, boy or girl, or even human or canine. So, too, the adult in most of his social relations naturally falls in with those who are going his way, who complement his own endeavors, who co-operate in some sense, who play some part in his own enterprises and interests. Surely it is this that is behind the assertion of Robert E. Park that "social institutions are not founded in similarities any more than they are founded in differences, but in relations, and in the mutual interdependence of parts"; and the principle of "consciousness of kind" does not operate in a way to challenge the conception of a co-operation of "kinds. "
Another psychological step follows. Ross puts it: "In the relation of compatriots, or co-religionists, or co-conspirators there comes first the thought of the ideal, leader, dynasty, territory, possession, organ, or symbol that serves as keystone locking the social arch . . .. the attachment of all to something which serves to mark off that body of persons from the rest of the world." Symbols of the group-consciousness become thus established and personal allegiance to them aroused. Among the forms of personal allegiance is that toward the political organization of the group, patriotism.
Patriotism, it is clear upon analysis, is a case of "sentiment," using this term with the technical connotations particularly defined by the English psychologists, Shand, Stout, and McDougall. "A sentiment is an organized system of emotional dispositions centered about the idea of some object. The organization of the sentiments in the developing mind is determined by the course of experience." Patriotism, or the feeling of allegiance to the group-unit, usually in the form of a political state, is in the mind of the individual a gradually developed abstract idea, but also one which has from the very first been associated with a certain class of emotional reactions, and thus in its nature form is as much a matter of non-rational impulses and feelings as of definite ideas. By virtue of this particular mental organization the individual man is predisposed to laud and support the one who acts for his own local group and to despise and hate the one who fraternizes with members of another group.
This psychological factor in social coherence not uncommonly —in fact, usually — becomes heightened and strengthened beyond all rational bounds —for jingoism and chauvinism must appear highly irrational and senseless to anyone able to take a truly humanitarian viewpoint. It is this, then, that gives us pause in the contemplation of an organization of nations wherein each must adopt a viewpoint and a program sympathetic as much to the other nations as to one's own. Now, any psychological account of patriotism must make much of the fact that this sentiment feeds on opposition. The opposition may be in the form of a contest with other nearly equal states, for territorial booty, for preponderating
( 766) armament, more rarely for scientific and literary honors. Or the opposition may be offered to oppressors. Both motives are striking in any patriotic movement, whatever its actual occasion; as witness the various national anthems, as witness the canny use of "liberty" in naming the government loans. In proportion as there is an element of danger, real or imagined, in the situation the sentiment of patriotism develops toward jingoism; whereas the elimination of any threatening element helps to modify it into good-natured rivalry.
If nationality be identified with the political state, then, two psychological points have bearing upon the question as to whether an internationalism will work. The most important element in the situation on the mental side is that particular species of allegiance called patriotism. This is found to be a sentiment, and, by definition, to be a product of experience varying in strength with the character of experience. In particular this sentiment may be rendered an implacable foe by an internationalism that is not also nationalism. Again, it is too easily forgotten that the political grouping of men is only one of many actual groupings. In the history of nations we may read the stories of competitions between this form and its competitors, especially the church. At the present time the state has succeeded fairly well in subjecting all the other forms of human loyalty to itself—the secret fraternity, the church, the family, the profession, the cause of labor, etc.; but that it ought to or can maintain permanently this absolute ascendancy is by no means certain. In other words, the nationalism of the political state may not form an inevitable barrier to inter-nationalism; its strength may decay by reason of internal rivalries. It was something of this sort that Brailsford had in mind when he said: "One may have an elaborately organized society without the State. The essential for nationality is that it should be wholly free to cultivate its own language, to worship in a national or `autocephalous' Church, to express itself with entire sincerity and without external restraint in literature, journalism, and the arts, and to maintain its own tradition in a complete educational system under its own management, ranging from the village school to the University, and finally, to associate with full liberty in parties,
( 767) clubs, and in literary, commercial, co-operative, or charitable societies. If it has all this, if its schools receive their fair share of any national grant, if it is subject to no legal disabilities or inequalities, its destinies are in its own hands, its culture is secure, its soul is its own."
It remains to take notice of a third interpretation of nationality, the cultural. "Lithuanian and Finn, " says H. A. Miller (in 1913), "are revolting against the culture authority of Pole and Swede rather than the political or economic authority of Russia. This is because in both cases the nationalizing people feel that their individuality is more endangered by the spiritual than by the material power," The disunion of Norway and Sweden was motived by a feeling on the part of the former of restraint in cultural matters. And it is possible that jealous attachment to its own brands of sweetness and light has been a hidden spring in many a people's movement for political autonomy. The problem is present in America wherever immigrant communities refuse to learn the language, attend the schools, or read the newspapers of the new land. The particular questions for us here are: taking nationality as identical with a culture group, first, are the differences between culture group and culture group definite and fixed; and, second, are the mental attitudes engendered by these rivalries inevitably hostile to attempts to weld the cultures closer together ?
In regard to the first point it is to be said that a national individualism in culture, outside Tibet and the Soudan, does not exist in extreme form. Differences of language furnish only a temporary bar to the spread of literature. Art museums welcome accessions of foreign art as readily as local. Modern science is driven abreast in all countries, with its working concepts and terminology standardized in the three principal languages. Homer was claimed by seven cities; monuments to Shakespeare are erected in Paris and Berlin.
As to the mental attitudes involved in the nationalism of cultures a former principle deserves to be re-applied here. Nothing so tends to intensify the group's jealousy of its language, arts, sciences, as efforts by other groups to control or repress them. Competent observers testify that in the last fifty years Bohemia, which was
( 768) almost Teutonized, has in the face of Austrian opposition revived its national language to a flourishing condition. The Bohemians are said to be freethinkers because their Austrian masters are Catholics; the Irish are fervent Catholics because England is Protestant, Poland is Roman Catholic in defensive opposition to the Russian Orthodoxy.
Taking the two points together it would seem to be true that cultural differences between groups tend to be increased with the application of coercion in the name of uniformity, but in the absence of pressure tend to decrease by reason of the natural channels of inter-communication.
Though it is not logically a part of our subject here, attention may be called to the suggestion that from the standpoint of general human culture and civilization progress may best be made if the nationalistic or local centers be encouraged in their independent development, but be offered access to the international battleground of criticism and discussion.
In answer to the question, "Will internationalism work in spite of the present strong nationalistic tendencies ? " Our survey of available data and opinions has brought out the conclusion that whether nationalisms be thought of as primarily a matter of races or of political states or of cultural traditions, in every case the divisions between group and group are highly instable and inconstant; and that in no case are the differences of a magnitude to render the conception of a league of nationalities psychologically untenable.