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to individual than for a century before security-holders, pensioners, insurancethe outbreak of the war.
beneficiaries, professional and intellecThe situation may be summarized as tual workers — has been transmitted follows: The war has made it much through the devaluation of the German more difficult for an individual to trans mark to the Stinneses and others of their mit his acquired real-estate and bank kind who have profited enormously by balances to his son. But the war has these same worthless marks. In Gerencouraged on an enormous scale the many there is not even the poor consotransmission of a man's wealth to non- lation that the losses of one great class descendants of his body. It is a phenom- have been the gain of another comparenon frequently hinted at in the two atively large class. The German nafamiliar epithets — the New Rich and tional debt has been repudiated and the the New Poor. Let us see.
so-called owners of fixed incomes have
seen their incomes fixed at zero. In II
Germany the transmission of wealth
along lines of non-kinship has been To what purposes do Governments from the pockets of the very many to devote the taxes which they derive the pockets of the very few. from their citizens and by which said That, of course, is not altogether a citizens are rendered more or less in- new phenomenon. Revolutions, whether, capable of transmitting said wealth to political, social, or religious, have a their descendants? The great bulk of way of transmitting the property chartaxes everywhere goes to paying inter- acteristics of one class to another class. est on the national debts piled up dur- Henry VIII of England transmitted a ing the war. But if such vast debts ex- very notable accumulation of realist, these debts must be held somewhere. estate characteristics from the monasIn other words, there must be some teries to the nobles; and the latter supwhere a great body of wealth. And plemented the process by transmitting there is. It is in the hands of the New to themselves the acquired land-charRich or of the Richer-than-Ever. All acteristics of the English peasantry — over Europe millions of the so-called through the ingenious system of enclomiddle class, and particularly millions sures. Tucked away in a book which one of the so-called brainworkers and fixed would least suspect of cynicism, in income owners, are paying interest on L'Abbé Constantin, there is one brief bonds which other people hold. In a sentence that completely covers the very real sense they have transmitted case. Frenchmen, remarks M. Halévy, and are still transmitting their wealth insist on having revolution once in evto the fortunate bondholders. If they ery generation because that is the most have no property characteristics left to expeditious way of redistributing the transmit to their children, it is because wealth of a nation. they have handed over or are busy White Collars. By this time it handing over those property-character should be obvious that we cannot istics to utter strangers.
speak of Lamarck's doctrines as enThis process is best studied in Ger- tirely valid or entirely discredited. many. By far the greater part of The transmission of acquired characthe property characteristics acquired teristics operates in some instances and through generations by millions of breaks down in others. Sometimes we humbly, well-off and moderately well- see the same trait, as in the case of the off Germans — small property owners, wealth of the European middle-classes, partly justifying Lamarck and partly Decent living, then, will remain a repudiating him. Sometimes we see in transmissible characteristic in the the same individual certain traits true United States; but it will persist at the to Lamarck and other traits belying sacrifice of the transmissibility of that him. This particular phase of the other acquired trait — property. To conflict between Lamarck and anti-La- be sure, that trait was never highly demarck is strongly manifested in one sec- veloped among the white collar workers. tion of the middle classes upon which Their income has never been of a size the world has bestowed a great amount to stimulate large-scale accumulation of commiseration and an infinitesimal and transmission; yet something there amount of concrete relief. I refer to the was. That something, I imagine, has so-called white-collar workers.
now been brought down close to the The white-collar proletariat to-day is vanishing point. at the same time the victim of traits Of course, the white-collar man does that strongly insist on getting them- one other thing. Faced with the growselves inherited and of others that are ing difficulty of transmitting property becoming increasingly difficult to pass to his children, the white-collar man on to one's issue. The Standard of Liv- has been remorselessly cutting down ing is one of the acquired characteris- the number of his children. But that is tics which normally exerts an almost too big a subject to enter upon here. irresistible urge to pass on from father Chips and Blocs. Until recently, to son. To be sure, in the war countries perhaps the strongest case for Lamarck of Europe that urge has been largely in the entire range of human experience overcome by a hostile environment was to be found in the sphere of AmeriThe white-collar masses of Europe have can politics. No acquired human trait been driven to accept for their children was SO regularly transmitted from a standard based on less food and father to son as the Party label. Minneclothes, poorer housing, less education, sota and Vermont on the one hand, and and, in pretty nearly every other way, South Carolina and Louisiana on the a lowered material and spiritual life. other, have been with us always to show But here at home the white collar pop- how a voting habit acquired about the ulation has held to its living standard, year 1860 can become virtually imbedthough at extraordinary sacrifices. ded in the germ plasm. It was a pheThere has been a fierce insistence, in nomenon which in Great Britain had the face of the famous Cost of Living, been observed and recorded half a cenupon maintaining the American level tury ago by W. S. Gilbert when he forof cleanly and seemly habitation and mulated the Lamarckian thesis that dress, and of full opportunity for edu- every little boy born in England is cation – all for transmittal to one's either a little Liberal or a little Conchildren. In the matter of food, I im- servative. agine, there has been practised a drastic In England it is now plain that, for thrift in order to make possible that the time being, Lamarckism is bankdignity of home and dress which does rupt. Twenty years ago the appeargo far to make the man. The clerk and ance of twenty-nine Labor members in the school-teacher eat less and hang the House of Commons showed that longer hours on a subway strap in order the Liberal characteristic was ceasing to find an airier and more self-respect to be transmitted among a considerable ing apartment house at the end of the portion of the population. To-day a day and the trip.
Labor ministry is in power, backed up
by something like one hundred and is unquestionably the outstanding trait ninety members in the House of Com- among acquired Republican charactermons, and by almost five million voters istics. And that is the Tariff. The Tarin the country. People believe the day iff urge is still strong; but the zeal with is not far away when the Labor Party which the Western farmer is striving will have an absolute majority in the to acquire other traits, such as coöperacountry and in Parliament. Nor is it tive marketing, Government loans, and the Liberal characteristic alone that freight-rate reduction, suggests that has been failing to get itself inherited. the Tariff trait may yet disappear out The Conservative Party is swinging of the germ plasm of the Republican away from Lamarck. In the last Gen- farmer. eral Election it was demonstrated that If that should ever come to pass, it Prime Minister Baldwin had failed to will be a disaster of the first magnitude
who was active on the Labor side More recently a son of Lord Curzon has shed the paternal characteristic and gone Labor. And any force in nature
of the farmer and the Tariff, Lamarck has been vindicated even beyond his fondest dreams. Lamarck believed that acquired characteristics are trans
zon is, as one might say in nonscien- to the extent that such characteristics tific circles, ‘some' force.
are useful to the individual. But the But, as we have seen, natural law is Tariff offers us the remarkable case of capable of startling reversals. Will the the transmission of an acquired charLabor characteristic, now being rapidly acteristic which has been neither useacquired by the British people, be ful nor convenient to those farmer gentransmitted to succeeding generations erations which have inherited it and of voters? Or may we at any moment passed it on in turn. The farmer sells expect a reversion from Ramsay his products in the markets of the MacDonald to Asquith and Winston world. By all dictates of reason he Churchill? Opinions differ.
should insist on being allowed to buy in In this country, it is the Republican a free world-market. In other words, Party that is chiefly affected by the the farmer should, by nature, be an anti-Lamarckian drift. Republican in- anti-Protectionist. But it so happened surgency has become chronic, which that the Western farmer acquired his is another way of saying that more Republicanism with his Nationalism Republican fathers than Democratic during the Civil War period, and he fathers are failing to transmit their ac- took his Republicanism straight, inquired characteristics, as of the year cluding the Tariff. As a Republican he 1860, to their sons. Over the greater has continued to vote Tariff, even part of the Republican area the reac- though that acquired characteristic has tion from Lamarck has gone only as far repeatedly got between his legs and as the development of Progressives and tripped him. But, as I have said, we are Farm Blocs. But at the moment of now apparently facing a change. writing, the chances of a Third Party out of the loins of the Republican
III Party is being seriously discussed.
Whether that Third Party comes or The Minuet and the Trot. Mr. not, it is obvious that the farmer of the Minnegerode has recently told us how Republican West is sloughing off what seriously civilization in the New York of the 1840's found itself threatened by least use in warning Youth that its own two formidable invasions from the turn is bound to come and that, twentyother side of the water. These were the five years from now, the young of 1924 waltz and the polka. The pillars of a will be receiving their stiff dose of the social structure grounded in the chaste anti-Lamarckian medicine from the figures of the square dance began visibly young of 1949. The young of 1924 proto totter. But the younger set of 1840 fess to be delighted by the prospect. went its way, and somehow life tri- They call it progress. To-day they deumphed over the disintegrating forces mand from their elders a sacrifice in the from the banks of the Danube and the cause of progress. Twenty-five years Vistula; triumphed over them and as- from now they will be glad to be the similated them. For what do we find? sacrifice. They want to oust and are This: seventy years later, a civilization willing in their turn to be ousted. They seemingly rooted in the waltz and in say so now. How they will feel about it the schottische, close kin to the polka, in 1949 I don't know; but I have my discovered its foundations to be crum- suspicions. bling under the onset of the tango, the Which is the better thing for the turkey-trot, and its affiliated zoological world in the long run — that Youth dances. In the swing of human evolu- should inherit its faith and ideas, or tion around the circle, it may be confi- that it should create its own new set of dently predicted that some day a civi- faiths and ideas, to be replaced in turn lization based on the trot, the hug, the by a newer equipment a generation toddle, and the shiver, will stand on the hence? The present investigator, hav. defensive against the menace of the ing been young in Roosevelt's first ad. quadrille and the minuet. . . ministration, believes, of course, in La
And if the reader will only be kind marck. He believes that Youth should enough to substitute for my technical go slow in throwing over the accumudance terms such terms as religion, lated characteristics of its predecessors. science, morals, manners, politics, eco- And he believes this on the basis of nomics, books, pictures, music, he will Youth's own favorite argument: bebe dispensing with a great many addi- cause it makes a much more interesting tional paragraphs in these necessarily fight. If each generation gets into the condensed laboratory-notes..
habit of thinking that its own ideas Why do the young go in for the waltz are valid only for itself, what sort of when their elders practise the quadrille? defense will it put upwhen the next genWhy will they revive the minuet when eration comes swarming over the top? their elders have been won over to the A man will fight desperately in defox-trot? Obviously because they are fense of a heritage of ideas, but not in young and their elders are old. In other defense of a twenty-one years' tenancy words: Youth is the strongest anti-La- in a certain set of ideas. Youth thinks marckian force we know of. Every gen- it is calling for Struggle. But what it is eration makes it its business to scruti- really asking for is a sham stage-battle. nize the acquired characteristics of the You can't get up much of a scrap if preceding generation in order to reject one of the parties — the elder party — them. Youth holds the Heights of the starts out with the conviction that it is Meuse against the acquired traits of its going to be licked, and deserves to be. fathers and cries, They shall not pass! There is one region in eastern Europe Youth insists on acquiring its own set where the conflict between Lamarck and of characteristics. There is not the anti-Lamarck is being fought out on a
gigantic and tragic scale. Bolshevism but have virtually been living on the in Russia seven years ago set out to wealth-characteristics acquired by past make a clean sweep of every existing generations; and they have now disacquired characteristic: in the political, covered that the destruction of the economic, and social orders; in religion; transmissible nature of property means in morals; in the arts and sciences; in death for a nation. The case is even the very nature of Truth, which hence- stronger for Russia's acquired cultural forth was to be true only to the extent and spiritual capital. Space is lacking that it was communist and proletarian. for details. The struggle between Lamarck and And so the writer's laboratory reWeismann in Soviet Russia is still un- searches, as embodied in these notes, der way; but there is really very little impel him to take his stand firmly with doubt as to the outcome. Lamarck will Vernon Kellogg in a recent number of win. The acquired characteristics of the Atlantic. Mr. Kellogg found that in the Russian people will once more get spite of the very serious case that can themselves transmitted. They are do- be built up against Lamarck, ‘many ing so already. If you need proof, take reputable and thoughtful biologists rethat one notable acquired characteris- main convinced that any satisfactory tic of which I have spoken at some causal explanation of evolution must length. Property, a trait which men ac- contain as a fundamental element some quire chiefly for the purpose of trans- form of the Lamarckian assumption.' mitting it, was abolished in Soviet Rus- My only hope is that this offer of unsia, only to be restored. The Soviet solicited aid and comfort on my part rulers have created nothing themselves, will not worry Mr. Kellogg too much.
the Atof the very inst Lamariologists re
BY WALTER GILKYSON
JUDGE AVERY held his pencil poised writing on the pad that lay upon the above the typewritten page of testi- book-rest of his easy-chair. mony, then marked the margin with a For a moment he paused to read long firm line. He had not remembered what he had written, the pencil the plaintiff's evidence was so clear; trembling slightly in his thin bluethat young man had brought it out veined hand; there was a look of critical very nicely with the neat indirectness appraisal in his worn face, something of his questions. On page forty-eight vivid, keenly alive, beneath the blood- he turned back the rustling sheets. less texture of his skin. He struck out Yes, the witness had said about the a word, replaced it with another; the same thing. With a faint smile of wrinkle between his eyebrows deepsatisfaction he leaned over and began ened and he smoothed the white hair