FOR PROMOTING EUGENICS. 107
be evaded or overcome, before associations of Eugenes could be formed that would be stable in themselves, useful as institutions, and approved of by the outside world.
The suggestion I made in the earlier part of this paper that the executive committee of local associations should co-operate, wherever practicable, with local administrative authorities, proceeded on the assumption that the inhabitants of the districts selected as the eugenic 11 field " had a public spirit of their own and a sense of common interest. This sense would be greatly strengthened by the enlargement of mutual acquaintanceship and the spread of the eugenic idea consequent on the tactful action of the committee. It ought not to be difficult to arouse in the inhabitants a just pride in their own civic worthiness, analogous to the pride which a soldier feels in the good reputation of his regiment or a lad in that of his school. By this means a strong local eugenic opinion might easily be formed. It would be silently assisted by local object lessons, in which the benefits derived through following eugenic rules and the bad effects of disregarding them were plainly to be discerned.
The power of social opinion is apt to be underrated rather then overrated. Like the atmosphere which we breathe and in which we move, social opinion operates powerfully without our being conscious of its weight. Everyone knows that governments, manners,