IN this chapter I shall try to set down the outlines of the ideally best kind of human world, the kind of world which, when we are mentally most awake, and able to take everything into account, we cannot but desire. In fact I shall indulge for a while in a blend of platitude and naive idealism. For this I make no apology. You cannot proceed upon your journey unless you know at least the general direction of your goal.

We desire that every one in the world should live fully, according to his capacity. Now capacities vary. Even in the ideal world there would be many different types of people, fitted for the many different kinds of life which would be needed for the great communal life of the world. Some, for instance, would be apt at handicraft of one sort or another, others apt at organizing, others at inventing things, others at amusing their fellows, others at teaching. Some, again, would be fitted for creating works of art, some for exploring the physical universe scientifically, some for philosophy, and so on.

Perhaps some would be best simply at being beautiful persons, excellent in mind and body, and some perhaps would be best at loving. But neither sort would be content to do nothing but be beautiful, or nothing but love; for every one in the ideal world would be a real human being, developed on every side. Still, I see no reason why there should not be some whose special gift lay in personal beauty, and whose first duty was to make full use of their gift. They would be the ' film-stars ' of the ideal world. But they would be very different from our present film-stars.

We desire that each may do chiefly what he can do best, and with a sense of fullest vitality in his work.

We desire the work of each, and the whole life of each, to help, not hinder, the lives of others; and to fit harmoniously into the pattern of the whole world s life. Each must be able to play his own special part. in the great work of the world; and also each must enjoy and profit by the lives of others and their work.

I do not mean merely that the growers of corn should have full enjoyment of the things made in factories, and the factory workers have as much corn and meat and vegetables as they require. This is obvious. But also each sort of worker must know what the other sort is doing, how he spends his life, what special troubles and delights come to him from his kind of work, and what difference his work makes to his outlook upon the world. We want the bank-clerk (or whatever in the ideal world corresponds to the bank-clerk), to realize what it is to hew coal in a mine, and to know how such work influences the character of a man; and we want the miner (or whatever in the ideal world corresponds to a miner) to know the same of the clerk. We demand all this so that there may be no waste of energy in strife between different workers or different minds, and so that each may be enriched by his understanding and his respect for others.

The differences between us should not be such as to make us enemies. The greater the diversity of men's characters the better, so long as they are also gifted with strong enough imagination to enter sympathetically into each other's points of view. Differences should make us more interesting and valuable to each other. Each of us should be able to enlarge his own mind by seeing into and enjoying minds different from his own. The differences between Englishmen and Frenchmen and Japanese are of no value at all to the world unless Englishmen are enriched by understanding and admiration of those somewhat different beings, Frenchmen. And so with the rest.

In the ideal world each person must know at least in outline the pattern of the life of the world; and prize it, and be proud to have a part to play in it. If he does not feel this, he will be a stranger, an alien in the world's life; and sooner or later he will become an enemy of the world. He will run amok, and damage the intricate tissue of the world. He will be like a cancer cell in the great body of the race, living for itself alone and harming the whole. If he gains power, and help from others, he may do very great harm.

The world that we seek to make must be such that in its general form it will seem right to every kind of person in the world. And the people of that ideal world must be all of them sane enough to approve of the pattern of the world. They will not, of course, all approve of every detail. They will often work to make changes in the organization of the world; and no doubt they will often disagree violently with each other's suggestions. But if the world is really to be a satisfactory world, it must be of such a kind that any intelligent and right- minded man will gladly accept the general plan of it. And the people of the world must be all intelligent enough and right-minded enough to be able to appreciate the world and feel loyal to it. In spite of their great differences of character and .talent, they must be able to agree to this extent. They must have this one precious thing in common. None of them must be so stupid or so mean that he cannot be a willing citizen of the world. None must be so unjustly treated, or so cramped and crippled by circumstances, that instead of rejoicing in the world, he hates it. None must come into the world with such a nature that he is bound to be a failure, either in body or mind, and therefore always miserable or harmful to others. None must be diseased or crippled or insane. There must be plenty of high-grade intelligence to do the exploring and the inventing, plenty of fresh and daring minds to see things in new ways and feel things in new ways, so as to do away with old out- worn customs and traditions, and work out better ones. This pioneering will certainly lead to conflict between the originators and the rest, as in our own world. But there will be this difference that in the ideal world every conflict will always be tempered by consciousness of an underlying concord.

Even in the ideal world there will be not only differences between persons of equal personal development, but also differences in degree of personal development itself. It is not true that men are born equal in personal capacity; nor is it, perhaps, desirable that they should be so. Even in the ideal world there will be a place for the relatively less awakened and a place for the relatively more awakened. But it is desirable that there should be none below a certain minimum of personal capacity, or mental development, namely the minimum which is required for intelligent and spontaneous participation in the corporate life of the community. It is desirable also that this minimum should be ever a rising minimum, so as to make possible an ever more awakened communal life.

Though there will be many kinds of persons, and as many persons of each kind as are needed for the world's full living, there will not be too many of any kind Otherwise there would be overlapping and clashing of work, and also wasted lives. People would keep on interfering with one another. Many would have no chance of using their powers fully and for the common good. And so they would have nothing better to do than to be mischief-makers, hindering the lives of others and of the whole. In the ideal world each must have work and work suited to his abilities. There must be no square pegs in round holes. No one who is by nature fitted for a life of action must be forced to do work which allows his powers no exercise. No one who is by nature timid must be put into a position of constant danger. Further, no one must be favoured, whether in respect of money or power or pleasure or education. A man should have special advantages only if for some reason the world needs him to have special advantages.

In short, the world of men and women must be a thing worthy of all men's loyalty, and therefore cherished by all, served by all, fully organized, but allowing plenty of freedom to every one. Each human being in the world must be allowed to live as seems best to him, except when what he wills is harmful to the world. But all will have been so educated that, whatever their differences, they will spontaneously desire always to subordinate their private good to the good of the world. Conflicts, of course, there will be within the organized world; but they must be only conflicts which serve the life of the whole, as conflicts between football teams serve the whole game, or as the strain between opposed muscles of a limb serve to keep it steady and under exact control. Wars there certainly must not be, but only rivalries in working well for the sake of the world. Within the world-group there will be many kinds of lesser groups, such as families, cities and peoples; and each group will, so far as possible, live its own life in its own way, and manage its private affairs. But the affairs that affect all in common will be managed by the world as a whole.

We may sum the matter in a formula. We desire a world in which all may have the opportunity to fulfil their capacities for their own delight and the good of the world. And for the world as a whole we desire that it should be such as to realize the fullest possible development of human nature. This consists chiefly in the development of intelligence and imagination in such a manner that man may know the universe as fully and truly as possible, admire and cherish whatever is most admirable in it, and create a human society that shall become mentally ever richer and more awakened.

This is the kind of world that we desire when we think seriously about the world as a whole. Unfortunately we have not only to desire it, but to fight for it, in one way or another. If we are to do this, we must will it earnestly and constantly. And If we are to do this, we must see it with the mind's eye. We must imagine as clearly and as fully as we can the world that we intend to make. It must come alive in our hearts. We must prove it on our pulses.



This section, like the preceding one, will seem to some readers a laboured platitude. Let them merely glance at it to assure themselves of its obviousness, and then pass on. There are other persons for whom this extremely important platitude may still be arresting. Anyhow it must be stated, since it is essential to my argument.

It is one thing to see what kind of a world would be best, or most desirable, and another thing to decide how far it is possible to realize that ideal in this very unsatisfactory world of ours. Nevertheless there is to-day a real and unique opportunity of producing a state of affairs much more like the ideal than was possible in any earlier age.

We are often told that the hard facts of life make it quite impossible in any age and any society for more than a very small number of persons to have the chance of fulfilling the finer, more developed capacities of human nature. Most, it is said, must inevitably spend their strength in cramping toil of one sort or another. Men's bodies have to be kept alive. They must have food. And food can only be produced by hard labour on the soil. All the necessaries and comforts of our civilization depend not only on machine power but on the movements of the muscles of men and women during the long working hours of each day. At the end of the day the workers are bound to be too tired to do more than rest and amuse themselves in easy ways. Whatever finer powers they may have at first, these are doomed to disappear through lack of exercise. The most that the toiling masses can expect of life is physical health and comfort and as much easy playas they can cram into their scanty leisure. The only kind of more awakened activity that they can possibly enjoy is personal intercourse. In mutual understanding, co-operation, friendship, family affection, sexual love, they have, no doubt, some insight into human personality. But, we are told, since all those with whom they have intercourse must be undeveloped personalities like themselves, even their appreciation of personality must necessarily be crude and blundering. A few individuals who happen to be very fortunate, or very brilliant and resolute, may escape from the necessities of soul-destroying labour; but the millions of their fellows, even the many who have it in them to develop finely, are doomed never to enjoy, never even to suspect the existence of, the more awakened kinds of human living. They must remain too tired and dull and inexpert to apprehend the more subtle features of personality, or to appreciate art, science, and philosophy, or to form a clear and commanding vision of the enterprise of man on this planet.

Not long ago this argument seemed unanswerable. Even for the present generation it holds good in the main. But if it is meant to refer to the future, even the near future, it is entirely false. The economic circumstances of mankind are changing every year, every day, under our eyes. Very soon there will be, or there should be, no need whatever for men and women to spend their lives in cramping toil. Indeed even to- day, if we could contrive to reorganize the economic structure of society, we could do away with all life-long drudgery, and also ensure that every one should have the means for much richer fulfilment than hag been the lot of most men hitherto. Certainly, even in our day, no one who has the finer capacities should be forced to go through life without using them. So quickly are the circumstances of mankind changing, that already, even while we continue to cry out against the necessity of toil, we are also crying out against the fact that there is no longer enough toil to go round, and to produce a miserable wage for every one. The fact that mankind is rapidly learning to keep itself alive and in comfort without toil should be a blessing; but owing to our bad economic organization and our confused thinking it is turned into a curse. Every country to-day has, or soon will have, its 'unemployment problem'. Every country tries to increase toil within its own borders, and to prevent other countries from toiling for it.

In our society, 'unemployment' is bad for two reasons. The first is that most people can only obtain money by working for wages, and without money they cannot gain any fullness of life. But strictly speaking this means not that unemployment itself is bad, but that in our society it produces a bad effect, namely poverty, the lack of money to spend on fulfilling one's capacities. Society in our age is organized, so far as the economic slaves are concerned, on the principle of 'no work no pay'. This principle arose in a world in which work was necessary to society and toilsome to the worker. There is no reason why it should continue to hold good in a world in which drudgery is ceasing to be needed for the maintenance of society.

Our age, of course, is transitional. A great deal of toil is still necessary. An immense amount of human pulling and pushing, and other monotonous work, must still be done; and must be paid for in wages, so long as society is organized on the principle of wages. But this is no reason why we should refuse a full livelihood to those from whom we no longer need toil.

Of course, in our transitional age it is bound to be very difficult to discard the outworn principle that a man must toil in order to live, and to organize society on a principle suited to the modem world. The present world-economic crisis and its consequent unemployment problem are hard facts which it will take all man's skill to conquer. But let us never forget that the problem is simply one of organization. There is nothing in the physical world to prevent us from creating such a prosperous and such a vital society as has never before existed. If all goes well, we shall be able to produce, decade by decade, more and more goods with less and less human toil. There is no lack of demand for the goods. Nearly two thousand million people are needing them. The difficulty is simply to get the goods to the people. And this difficulty is caused wholly by our fantastic economic system.

The second reason why unemployment is bad in our world is that inactivity deadens a man's powers of action. He loses the habit of spurring himself to effort, and he loses or never acquires the skilled capacities which work entails. He also feels himself to be stranded, useless, left out of the world's activity. This feeling destroys his self-respect, or fills him with hate against the world.

At present, as we all know, unemployment in the industrial nations is doing great damage. Millions of people, even if they are not actually starving, are living in misery and suffering a steady moral decay. Very much precious human capacity is failing to find a healthy expression, and is failing to be of service to society.

This is indeed a tragic state of affairs. But many people still hope to remedy it in a way which is bound to fail, and would be disastrous if it could succeed. Many want simply to decrease unemployment by restoring the old tyranny of toil in the world. They desire only to see the unemployed once more grinding out their lives in low-grade activities in exchange for a bare livelihood. But unemployment has come to stay. What we must do is to turn it into a blessing instead of a curse. Or rather, industrial unemployment has come to stay; and this fact gives us a unique opportunity to ensure that men shall be able to employ themselves in other and more vital ways.

The present increase of unemployment has evidently two distinct causes, namely the decline of markets and the rapid increase of labour-saving devices. It is not for me to explain the economic causes of the decline of markets, but clearly it is in part due to causes inherent in the capitalist system. Capitalism can only thrive on expanding markets. If expansion ceases, decline must occur. World-planning could perhaps have saved capitalism. But since economic individualists have sought, in the main, private profit rather than social prosperity, there has .been an almost complete absence of economic planning on the world scale, and even on the national scale. The confusion has been complicated by economic nationalism. Each nation desires to give industrial employment to its own members rather than to foreigners. For if a nation contains a large number of unemployed persons, much wealth has to be spent in keeping them alive; and they give nothing in return. Now this ungoverned individualism and this nationalistic dread of losing employment to other nations could be overcome by world-planning. Of course, the problems involved are extremely complex; but I cannot believe that they are so complex as to defeat human intelligence. What prevents them from being solved is the fact that the class which is at present in power over-estimates its own importance and the importance of the social system which it supports.

The other cause of unemployment, the increase of labour-saving devices, is of a very different kind. It might, perhaps, with great difficulty, be abolished if nearly all men agreed to abolish it. But they certainly will not agree. And anyhow if they did, the result would be disastrous.

Ever since the beginning of the mechanical age some have urged that machinery ought to be abolished; and to-day many hold that it ought at least to be severely restricted, so that the old manual labour may once more be needed, and men may once more find employment. Now perhaps in particular cases, when an invention threatens to throw thousands of men suddenly out of work, this restriction of machinery may be necessary for a while. But to stop the whole great tendency toward mechanization is impossible, and would be retrograde. The fact that machinery has been used very largely hitherto for evil must not blind us to the immense good which might come of it if it were wisely used. Doubt- less in our day man is in a sense a slave of machinery ; but there is no reason why he should not break free, and use the tyrant as an obedient and mighty djinn for the making of a more fully human world.



Let us try to form a clearer idea of the kind of world which machinery should make possible, if we can re-organize our economic system, and if we can keep clearly in view what it is that is desirable.

Machinery has not yet come into its own. It has scarcely begun to take effect on the life of mankind. But probably, if invention is allowed full scope and nationalism does not lead us into successive world-wars, not many years will pass before it is possible for us to abolish or very greatly reduce every kind of toil which is too fatiguing or too monotonous to be a wholesome life-work for a human being. There will be no longer necessity that anyone, in order that society may be kept going, should spend his best hours in mere pulling or pushing, or in executing day after day some single movement in a factory. Every kind of routine work will be done automatically by machines that are self-regulating, or by the pressing of switches, or the dropping of coins into slots. Only where there is a call for intelligent control will human action come into play, only where there must be skilled adjustments, or new correlations of one operation with another, or the invention of new processes.

Now a world which was completely mechanized in this way might be either very good or very bad. There are some people who seem to think that it must be good. Apparently they feel that intricate mechanical operations are the true end of human life. Or perhaps they would argue that the sole purpose of machinery is to enable large numbers of persons to occupy their whole lives with such low-grade pleasures as the tired workers of to-day seek in their evenings. If all the work is done by machinery, then, they say, life will be one glorious uninterrupted holiday. In fact we shall all be the 'idle rich'. Such a state they regard as satisfactory.

Others, horrified by this prospect, feel that a completely mechanized world must be bad. In such a world, they say, there would be nothing worth doing. Every one would be bored to distraction. Men would lose all their fine qualities, their courage and skill, their generosity and loyalty, all that makes human nature admirable. No doubt there would still be intelligence, but it would be only a very low kind of intelligence, fit only for controlling machines, a sort of mechanic's cunning.

Moreover, they see another danger. A great deal of unintelligent labour, they think, would still be necessary for the daily routine of tending the machines. A perfectly mechanized world, then, would sooner or later come to consist of two classes. There would be a managing class, highly intelligent in the mechanical way; and also there would be an almost sub-human working class, consisting of creatures specialized for the various kinds of routine work, and incapable of anything but their work and the simplest animal pleasures. Such a world would, indeed, be very bad. No one in it would be a real human being. It would be no better than a huge ant's nest.

The harmfulness of mechanization does not lie solely in its grinding, crippling effect on the workers, though that is very grievous. The real trouble lies deeper. Both workers and employers, and indeed all individuals in a mechanized society, become mentally poisoned by the prevailing atmosphere of mechanization. A mechanized society is one in which all individuals tend to become over-specialized. All have to adapt themselves to very special functions, and have no experience of life beyond their particular grooves. Each becomes a mere cog in a huge machine. Moreover in a mechanized society machinery comes to dominate most minds to such an extent that unwittingly they incline to regard mechanical industrialism as good in itself. To produce goods at an unheard-of rate, to travel at an unheard-of speed, to displace man-power by machine power in field after field, come to seem a sufficient goal for human endeavour. In such a society the life of the mind inevitably suffers. Education of a sort may become more wide-spread; but it will not be true education. It will seek to equip individuals to be efficient cogs in the great machine, to fit them each for his special function, and all with an identical set of 'machine-made' and socially approved ideas.

Such is the charge which is justly made by those who inveigh against the effects of machinery in our modern world. But though their diagnosis is correct, their cure is impracticable, and also deadening.

They urge us to do away with machinery, and to go back to the good old days of handicrafts, when every man's work was varied, and to some extent skilled. In- deed, in a sense it was even creative, since it consisted not in the monotonous performance of a stereotyped act, but in the production of a finished object. In those days, they say, every man could fulfil much of his capacity in his work. He could live in his work. In a mechanized world, he cannot.

Now there is indeed a very real danger in mechanization. All around us we see a tendency towards the state of affairs which these prophets describe. But the danger lies not simply in machinery, but in our inability to put machinery to its proper use. If the mass of men and women can be induced to form a clear idea of the world :t might be created, and if they can .be persuaded to desire it, mechanization will be a blessing, not a curse. Indeed, without complete mechanization, that world cannot exist.



The true function of machinery is to emancipate all men from drudgery and to give to all the opportunity of living a fully human life. In the world which we desire to create there will be no 'working class'. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that every one will belong to the working class, but work will be a very different kind of thing from the drudgery that constitutes work for most men to-day. Our great populations of tired, ill-clad, ill-developed, ill-educated 'workers' will have vanished as a mist melts in sunlight. The mass of mankind, on whom in the last resort the policy of the world depends, will not be the anxious, jealous, bewildered, easily hating creatures that they are to-day. They will move through their streets and their fields with the assurance of free men, knowing clearly what they want, responsible for their world, and well content with it. Their minds will not be haunted by the problem of earning a little more. They will not be obsessed by class resentment. They will not be satisfied with the ludicrously trite amusements of the populace to-day. They will be chiefly concerned with two things, two kinds of genuinely human activity. First, each person wil1 be occupied for part of his time with his own share of the practical work of keeping the world-society in being or advancing its life into new spheres. Second, all be very largely employed in understanding and enjoying the world and all those countless beauties and mysteries which are properly the main occupation of full-grown human minds. In fact we must make a world will in which, for the mass of men, frustration, pain, grief will be so reduced as to be no longer an intolerable and deadening burden but a vitalizing challenge, a world in which joy will be the rule and sorrow the needed exception. There must be for every man and woman joy" of every order, from the loftiest possible to him to the common daily delights and animal well-being.

Is this nothing but a fantastic dream? Far from it. It is very serious practical politics. We are conceiving a world which, though, of course, it cannot spring into being to-morrow morning, should already be the conscious aim of world-policy, and might, if we set our minds to it, begin to be realized to-morrow, and be well advanced within fifty years.

In that world much of the practical work will consist of the control of mechanical processes. The making and care of machinery will be one of the commonest outlets for the constructive impulse. Intellectuals often despise this kind of activity; and indeed in the case of uneducated persons, or half-educated persons, contact with: machines certainly can produce a harsh and insensitive kind of mind. But to the mind that is well nurtured, and not in danger of cloddishness or harshness it can be, in its degree, an enlightening activity. Possibly, if the 'highbrows' had some actual acquaintance with it, they would come to realize that it has its own special value in disciplining the mind and keeping it in touch with concrete reality. In no other pursuits, save scientific experiment (which will also be common), is there a more imperious need for accuracy and conscientiousness, or a better opportunity of gaining a vivid sense of the independent reality of the material world.

It is not to be regretted, then, that in the ideal world many will probably be by profession either scientists engaged upon practical invention, or engineers, or agriculturalists, or that, since large-scale agriculture will be completely mechanized, the typical agriculturalist will be something of an engineer. There will no doubt also be a great deal of intensive manual agriculture, of the 'market gardening' and horticultural types. This will be carried out largely for the joy of the work, but also for experimentation and superfine production.

The amount of human energy, of strength and intelligence and will, spent on this task of keeping material civilization in being, will be a very small proportion of the total available human energy. How should the rest be spent?

In the first place, whatever a man's official practical work might be, he would probably not devote to it more than three or four hours a day. It might be thought desirable that every one should play some part in the upkeep of material civilization; and so work of this kind would perhaps be very carefully 'rationed '.

The fact that so much human energy will be set free from the task of maintaining the bare necessities of civilization might have one surprising and very good effect. Many kinds of articles which in our day are produced solely by machinery might once more be produced by hand with all the loving skill and originality of the true craftsman. A good deal of furniture, pottery, woven materials, and certain kinds of metal articles, might be made in innumerable hand-workshops in every land, not simply as a means to gain a livelihood, but for love of the work, and for the privilege of producing things of beauty for the service of society. There are appropriate uses for machine-made goods, and appropriate uses for hand-made goods. There is also an appropriate beauty of machine-made goods, and an appropriate beauty of hand-made goods. In the ideal world men would be in a position to make full use of both, and appreciate both, each in its special way. As I see it, a great deal of the surplus energy of the race would be spent on handicrafts.

But just as no one in the ideal world would be a mere engineer or agriculturalist, so no one would be a mere craftsman. No one would be a mere anything, though every one would probably have some particular kind of work as the first and most important call on his energy. There will no doubt be many whose main task is to organize or correlate the activity of others, not in the spirit of the master or governor but rather in the spirit of the ambassador or liaison officer. But no one will be solely an organizer. One very large class of persons will be the teachers, but they, like the rest, will spend only a short time on professional work. Many of us who are fortunate in our work would, in certain moods, gladly spend all day and all night upon it. I do not suggest that in the ideal world such enthusiasm would be discouraged. But it would be restricted by the definite social convention that a man must keep himself in perfect physical condition, and mentally responsive to the surrounding life of the community.

Hours of official work would probably be short, holidays would be frequent and long. Many people might spend much of their time on skilled physical activities, such as games, swimming, skating, rock-climbing. Dancing of various kinds might play an important part in life. There would, of course, be much social intercourse both of a light and a serious nature. Every one would have plenty of time to make many intimate friends and to be constantly coming into contact with strangers whose lives are cast in different manners from his own. Long holidays would be spent in travel over all the continents. There would be an immense amount of reading, not merely of the desultory kind, but also serious study for sheer love of knowledge, and in sheer admiration of the complexity and delicacy of the universe, including, of course, human nature. Probably there would be much listening to radio programmes, light and serious. Music would be an important factor in the life of the world. Not only would every one have the opportunity of listening frequently to the best music performed by leading musicians, but also those who had musical ability would spend much time in musical performance, to the delight of themselves and their friends. There would be much pure art of every sort, much painting, sculpture, 1iterature. There would also be widespread scientific research in which the motive would be the will to increase man's knowledge of the universe; and there would be a still wider interest in the progress of science. There would also be much philosophy; every intelligent person would be a philosopher to some extent.

This is the kind of world that machinery makes possible. This is the kind of world which, we may hope, is actually coming into existence, though slowly, painfully and precariously. We live in the death-throes of the old world and the birth-throes of the new. Unfortunately most of us are still afraid to help that birth. We prolong the agony of the change by seeking to mend and bolster up the old world, for we are mostly blind to the possibility of the new world. Perhaps we are blind because we do not really want it, because we are still obsessed with the outworn values of the old world, especially with cravings for private wealth and national power.

In the world of the future, when it is at last fully established, the most serious attention of mankind will be given to art, science, philosophy, and in some sense religion. I do not suggest that every one will spend very much of his time amusing himself by dabbling in these activities; though indeed most people will doubtless seek serious experience of them. I mean rather that art, science, philosophy and religion will be universally recognized as the supreme functions of human society; much as, in our day, national power is often regarded as the final justification of all policy. Art, science, philosophy and religion will not merely be regarded as fulfilments of individual capacity; they will be taken to be also the supreme enterprise of the community, of the organized human race.

Perhaps this point should be rather differently expressed. It is more accurate to say that the supreme enterprise of human society will be the advancement of the human spirit toward a goal which is ever veiled, yet ever revealing itself; and that for the present, and for ages to come, such advancement must consist in art, science, philosophy and religion, and the perfecting of world-society itself. The goal of human action is not strictly a goal, a fixed point to be attained, but a direction in which to strive. Most accurately, but perhaps rather barrenly, it may be described in this way. It is the broadening and deepening of man's knowledge of the universe, the refining of his appreciation of all that calls for admiration in the universe, and the actual beautifying and perfecting of the only bit of the universe which is at present under man's control, namely the human world itself.

Nothing less than this can be the supreme goal or direction of human activity. In our day the world-society of men and women is so disorganized, and men and women themselves are in the main so hopelessly crippled and blind, that it may well seem a waste of time to talk about a supreme goal. The house is on fire. Some urge us to drop art and philosophy, and use science only for the invention of fire-extinguishers. But if the trouble was caused by the fact that the house was inhabited by a lot of wild children who had nothing better to do than play with lighted matches, it is just as important in the long run that they should discover the true use of a house as it is that they should put out this particular fire.

Some say that if this ideal world were to be made actual, life would lose its savour, and the human spirit, spurred no longer by adversity, would soon become debased, slothful, and obtuse. With justice they point out that there is danger in perfect freedom of activity, complete absence of tension, the resolving of all conflicts, the abolition of all repressions. Only in the tension of antagonist muscles can a limb function properly. Only through the conflict of opposed desires can the mind become mature, learning to rise above its conflict to a higher order of percipience and will. Only through the strife of opposed groups within the social order can the community avoid stagnation. All this is true. Man's finest achievements are expressions of frustration and agony. But there is no cause for anxiety. It will be time to guard against a dearth of frustration when, through triumphant social advance, it appears as a real danger. In our present distressed world, we need not trouble about any hypothetical dearth of distress in the ideal world. Moreover the ideal world is not a static world, in which all ends are already attained. It is one which, by its very nature, will be continually opening up before itself new vistas of endeavour, new worlds to conquer. When we compare man and animal, we find that man has not only the greater possibility of pleasure, but the greater possibility of distress also. His life is not necessarily more pleasurable and less painful, but it is more vital; and, because of its more difficult enterprise, it demands more, not less, courage and loyalty and intelligence than any animal could muster. As I see it, the same relation will hold between the more vital world of the future and our present world. The future will call out more, not less, of man's distinctively human powers. If all goes well, there will probably come a time when every one of the particular problems which now distress and perplex man so grievously will have been finally solved; but upon a higher plain of mentality, and with a higher order of difficulty, new problems will ever arise and confront the race with desperate situations, perhaps even far more terrible than our own.

Chapter 3

Chapter 1

Waking World Contents