Early Anthropological Researches 109
its powers. If its average ability were raised a grade or two, our new classes F and 0 would conduct the complex affairs of the state at home and abroad as easily as our present F and 0, when in the position of country squires, are able to manage the affairs of their establishments and tenantry. All other classes of the community would be similarly promoted to the level of the work required by the nineteenth century, if the average standard of the race wen raised."
The Greek statesman or commander had to deal with hundreds or thousands of men, where ours have to deal with millions in a society wherethe relations are of immensely increased complexity ; that must be borne in mind when we compare the intellectual ability of the two cultures. Foch could have done the work of Themistocles, but the latter would have broken down under the complexity of the work of a modern commander. He would, as Galton does, have certainly called for a superman. One wonders if the ancestry of Mr Bernard Shaw's `superman' cannot be traced to Galton ; for Mr Shaw took him from Nietzsche, and the latter knew of Galton's work'.
Galton's penultimate chapter "Influences that affect the Natural Ability of Nations" contains results almost commonplaces now, but in 1869 they were original suggestions of the highest value, because he was practically the first to apply the Darwinian doctrines to man and his communities. He notes how careless Nature is of the lives of individuals, she is equally careless of the lives of eminent families, they arise, flourish and decay; and the same may be said of races and of nations, they have arisen in the past, reached grandeur and then perished, often leaving but the slenderest shreds of their culture to be preserved among the mental traditions of humanity as a whole. Nay it is possible that such may be the story of our earth itself relative to other possible scenes of existence in the cosmos around us.
"We are exceedingly ignorant of the reasons why we exist, confident only that individual life is a portion of some vaster system that struggles arduously onwards towards ends that are dimly seen or wholly unknown to us, by means of the various affinities-the sentiments, the tastes, the appetites-of innumerable personalities who ceaselessly succeed one another on the
stage of existence." (p. 351.)
But such an outlook produced by the growing physical and historical knowledge of man, while it depressed many of lesser mental calibre, who found themselves torn from their old supernatural moorings and carried helplessly along on the overwhelming tide of new thought, such an outlook only led Galton to proclaim that Man-if at last he would stand on his own feet, and discard his ages-old crutches-could to a large -extent make his own future. Confidence in himself, and in his own knowledge-- faith in his own intellectual leaders and not in any supernatural kindliness of cosmic purpose-were for Galton the thorny but certain path towards man's salvation.
"Our world appears hitherto to have developed itself, mainly under the influence of unreasoning affinities; but of late, man slowly growing to be intelligent, humane, and cs able, has appeared on the scene of life and profoundly modified its editions. He has already
1 Frau Forster Nietzsche in The Lonely Nietxsehe gives (p. 191) a letter of Dr 33anmwt11 (15/12/1883) and the latter reports a talk with Nietzsche at Niae, when "the oomverastan turned on Galton," but there are unfortunately no particulars.