8.4 Community Goals in Population Size, Class and Internal Diversity


Beyondism has definite indications for the size and structure of population, which are in some respects radically different from those toward which presently fashionable views are heading.

As to the optimum population size, though the present popular attention to the real dangers of Malthusian overgrowth is heartening (Pendell, 1951), the concerned reader is being journalistically misled by the astonishing disregard of quality, of evolutionary goals, and of other elements, when discussing the dynamics of population. Moreover, the unfortunate feature about such calls for population reduction as those of, say, Ehrlich (1968) or Paddock (1967) is that they are beamed at middle class Americans, and countries like Japan, which need no preaching to be converted. If population is reduced relatively, in countries high in the intelligence-education factor (page 137) compared to those that are deficient, the danger is not merely that we shall have a population "monster," but a "headless monster." Among the world's countries there will, in short, develop a lack of power in those countries where world leadership would otherwise naturally fall.

What one must not forget in the current strong chorus appealing for population reduction (at any rate as it concerns all but a mass of backward countries) is that the very existence of the danger is questioned by some discerning experts, such as the Cambridge economist Colin Clark who writes "With adequate skill and use of fertilizers we find the world capable of supporting ... ten times its present population." Admittedly, on the other hand, as Wiener (1954) says, the risks in gambling on such forecasts are high. Yet any appeal to history over the last four hundred years tells us that food and other resources, and capacity to handle urban density and pollution, are not fixed, but depend on the quality of the population in producing men of genius. Countries poor in the discipline of scientific education and political good sense may doubtless come to be hard hit by famine and other consequences. But so-called "liberal" writers have no right to make our flesh creep in guilt about this, and still less to make us afraid of being overwhelmed by warlike hordes of have-nots. Formidableness in war is much correlated with formidableness in civilization.

The writing has been so long on the wall about the debilitating effect of overpopulation (relative to production) that only the obstinately incorrigible can any longer let themselves fall into this miserable condition. On the other hand, some American and European societies have erred in the opposite direction and are below an optimum strength of population, mainly because they have cluttered their lives with material luxuries which they and their advertisers consider necessities. In their one and two child families they should be haunted by the ghosts of children who might have lived. Cutting down by three-quarters the optimistic figure of Clark above, one can, taking the most probable, dynamic view of scientific advance and social attitudes, still conclude that the U.S. can accommodate something nearer to 500 million healthy and effective individuals, if eugenic attention to quality also guides population policies in this generation. For the more intelligent and spiritual men become, the less they need in the way of costly amusements and expensive material pleasures to live a full and satisfying life[11].

The central fact remains, as discussed in Chapter 5, that living and education standards being equal a larger population is more desirable than a smaller one, since it favors survival of the given culturo-genetic group in face of natural catastrophes and war, and because it permits more experiment and increase of effectively tried out mutations.

As to the internal structure of a population, which means the form of religious and social class groups with their usual partial inbreeding, Beyondism similarly questions many common social conclusions which by frequent repetition have taken on the air of rational truths. Thus for some the full realization of the concept of democracy requires a classless society, as in Communism, and Hogben tells us (1951, page 742) that "Science attains its highest dignity [only] in a classless society"[12]. Others insist that a well-developed democracy must be diversified by classes, religious groups, and sub-groups of varied belief. And yet others mostly dissident intellectuals like D. H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, etc. insist that society must naturally consist of a "mass" and a "leading elite."

Social psychology tells us that the notion of definitely discrete social classes is scarcely true each man belongs to several different groups and (in his lifetime) to different socio-economic classes. The latter, in particular, are more statistical categories than they are organized living groups. As the present writer has suggested elsewhere (1942, 1945a,b) subgroups have the function for individuals of giving belongingness and an asylum from excessive discordance which high variety tends to produce in the main, total group. Besides this function of "asylum" they also have a group function of permitting experiments on a small scale, concretely trying out cultural and genetic mutations that may ultimately be valuable in the development of the main group. Social psychology also tells us that under primal threat the smaller congenialities which are the psychological life of classes adjustively break down, producing a broader democracy of shared primary needs, within the life-defending national group a democracy of basic values which is present underneath all the time in a good society, however sub-culturally stratified.

What is often not taught in school social science courses is that socio-economic classes and religions also favor assortive mating and thus necessarily produce some modern genetic homogeneity within them. This may not readily be evident to the eye of the amateur, but there have undoubtedly been over the last five hundred years some interesting biological specializations in craft, class, and religious groups. It has the effect of widening the variation within society, e.g., raising the representation at upper levels of intelligence, and of reducing genetic regression to the group mean.

What degree of such genetic and cultural special development is optimum in a society? Certainly either extreme has grossly evident defects; but by what principles do we aim at the optimum? The Nobel Prize geneticist, G. W. Beadle, argues "Our best course is to assure maximum evolutionary flexibility for future generations by maintaining a high degree of wholesome genetic diversity" (1963). But what is a "high degree?" And do not the sociologist and cultural anthropologist rightly remind us that too great a diversity of culture, e.g., class culture, may reduce social solidarity and the sympathy of man for man?

Here is a vital and unexplored research topic the optimum diversity of sub-groups for the highest morale and progress. In India and some South American countries one sees a lack of cultural solidarity producing poor consensus of action everywhere, but especially on new, progressive steps. In a few other countries, perhaps one could point to defects from too great uniformity. We know all too little. It is reasonably established that measurable psychological differences exist among classes and religious groups; that assortive mating within them produces greater genetic ranges in society as a whole than would otherwise arise; that the direction of imitation of culture is usually of the upper by the lower; and that in a free society a continuous promotion into higher classes (and some reflux) occurs, most being effected by education (scholarships, etc.). Thus manners and morals have reached highest standards in the "middle class" (actually the uppermost class except for a few aristocrats and plutocrats) and have spread downwards (hence the misnomer "middle class" morality).

The two last instances of dynamics above admit of unfortunate side effects. First, in as much as the prevailing conditions of social promotion admit of some "cheating" (climbing by excessive family reduction, crime, or selfishness) the axis of cultural imitation is awry from an ideal evolutionary standpoint. Second, the social promotion of qualities with strong genetic components, such as intelligence, tends to leave lower classes impoverished. This depletion contributes to the separation of a "submerged tenth" at the bottom, which is welfare dependent and, in a true sense "hospitalized" relative to the rest of the community. The special aid guaranteed income regardless of performance given this class is in turn demoralizing to the low earning but working class immediately above, and the "hospitalized" values may consequently spread upward.

Although segregated classes offer the attractions mentioned above of greater congeniality as do age classes and school classes their functionality needs to be re-examined from a Beyondist standpoint. It is perhaps more in religious, political and ethnic groupings, in any case, that examining the problem of optimum degree of diversity becomes most relevant, since classes are only feebly segregated. The issues are well illustrated in a recent letter to The Times and the Telegraph in England by Lord Elton who criticized the use of the term "to integrate" in a publication "Colour and Citizenship" by the Institute for Race Relations, saying "Everybody knows that Indian immigrants have no intention whatever of being combined into a single congruous whole with Pakistanis .... On the contrary (and who can blame them) they are determined to preserve their own culture, traditions, religious and social customs." Integration, he proceeds, is now defined by the Race Relations Board differently from the dictionary as "cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance" which "Philologically ... is ... a near perfect definition of non-integration."

It is in respect to religion and race that the diversity issue is most acute, and we cannot set these aside as historical accidents that will disappear. For as men become increasingly sensitive about values they are going to form sub-groups for the fullest expression of values (as has happened often in the further fractionation of Protestantism); and these sub-groups, as Darington reveals to us, acquire more genetic "racial" peculiarity than common observation suggests. (As also would be expected if, as we have argued above, religious values tend to be partly temperamental, producing some parallelism of race and religion.) The tendency to feel socially and morally lost in very large groups may be a defect in the scope of the average citizen's imagination, which good propaganda, as in Russia, China and pre-war Japan, can overcome. But regardless of the need felt by individuals for the relatively high congeniality of a more homogeneous religious, ethnic or social class sub-group, these sub-groups, we have argued, have a real evolutionary value, and, when, like religions, they cut across countries, a value in checking hostilities between nations.

Nevertheless, as we have argued in Chapter 5, the "tactful" word "tolerance" is a weasel word, used deceitfully by every orator. The fact is that a religious sub-group either believes in its values or it does not, and when community or national decisions have to be made to which all must adhere (as, for example, about Parochial School support, or the maintenance of Jewish holidays) people resist being forced to the lowest common denominator in all beliefs. This is unsatisfying to the individual of keen beliefs and high morale, and, as India or Ireland show, it can reach a point of being unworkable. The answer of the more eunochoid social scientists at the moment, who shape their theories to what civil authority demands, is to make "desegregation" workable by weight of propaganda. They are doing what a heart surgeon does when he tries to knock out the body's deep-seated immune reaction in order to force acceptance of a grafted heart. It may be technically achievable, but at what ultimate costs we do not yet know. Intuition tells societies, meanwhile, that it is best not to get into a position of accepting such racially and culturally discordant immigration that such drastic methods are forced upon it. An artist of social design is fully aware that there is an optimum degree of diversity for cultural advance, and that some hybridizations are more promising and acceptable than others, even though science has not done the research work that it should have done to offer firmer guidelines.















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