Imágenes de páginas

feel that they have taken good care of themselves, generally speaking, need an examination at stated intervals, quite as much as those who have been extravagant or reckless in their work or mode of life. In recent years the need of medical examination of apparently healthy persons at regular and reasonably frequent intervals has been popularized to a degree under the name of life extension examinations. Such examinations are indeed life and health conserving and are rapidly gaining appreciation so that the public now finds it economical and profitable in the long run to pay doctors to keep them well.

The need for such detective and protective inspections to conserve health was demonstrated in a striking way, as is now generally known, by the results of medical examination of the young men of this country during the war. It was found that 47 per cent of the men had physical defects of importance. One out of every five men between the ages of 21 and 30 years was found to be physically unfit for military service. Of those rejected 11.5 per cent had organic heart disease, and 9.3 had tu berculosis, to cite but two causes of physical unfitness which a periodic inspection should have disclosed earlier. Diseases which affect the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels, due to wear and tear of these organs, are not only on the increase, but they occur more and more frequently at an earlier age than formerly, owing to the pace at which we live and work. Mortality statistics show that deaths from heart disease have increased over 25 per cent in the last 20 years.

Those who fail to have an inventory taken of their physical stock and capital, fearing to hear of some defect or beginning disease, are in many cases, heading straight for physical bankruptcy and loss of their greatest asset-health.

Several decades ago, dentists, for example, were chiefly called upon to extract rotting teeth. Elderly individuals who were in possession of sound teeth were, relatively speaking, exceptional. Today, oral hygiene, that is professional service in cleaning teeth and preventing abnormal conditions of the teeth and mouth, and the growing practice of visiting dentists regularly each year to have the teeth scrutinized for signs of beginning decay, are paying remarkable dividends to the individuals who are so trained. Infections of the teeth that travel to other organs and attack them seriously, are thus prevented. The regular annual visit to a physician for an inspection or overhauling of one's physical condition is even more necessary.

Health departments are beginning to recognize the value of converting people to understand the need of health inspections, and this is bringing about a radical revolution in public health work the effects of which will soon be evident. This is the most important and necessary next step in private medical practice as well as in public health work. Already many health organizations are bending their efforts to the instruction of the general public as to the urgency of submitting to such examinations. The New York City Department of Health has already established a service of this character for citizens who cannot afford to pay for health examinations.

The time is not far distant when a person who dies prematurely of a disease which he had made no effort to discover at its onset, and to prevent, so far as prevention may be practicable, will be classed as one who has committed deliberate suicide.

Do it NOW; be examined by a physician, and do it again at least once every year.

The Health Builder, Jan. '23.


Italy's Bloodless Revolution

Condensed from The North American Review
Joseph Collins

HERE is a widespread belief that Fascismo is a guerrilla and anarchic movement, without plan or precedent. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Fascisti have made the first substantial contribution to world ordering since the war, and should it prove permanent, history may one day bracket Mussolini's name with Garibaldi's.

Fascismo is a reaction of the middle classes chiefly, against the demoralization of the Italian people by Radical Socialism and threatened Bolshevism that flourished in the aftermath of war. The Fascisti, now

a political party, was at first a disciplinary body. It was composed mainly of young men, former com. batants who had banded together to protect the interests of discharged soldiers, and "to keep alive among the people the spirit of unity which they had acquired through common sacrifice."

Fascismo takes its name from the Latin fasces, the name given to the bundle rods wrapped around an axe, which the lictors of ancient Rome carried when they appeared before kings, emperors, or consuls. the emblem of the ruler's authority over life and limb.

It was

Every historian knows that Italy was aroused, pushed to the trenches, and kept there by a minority-the classes of culture and ideals, capable of enthusiasm for noble causes and abstract ideas. The majority of the laboring classes, rural and industrial, were antagonistic to war, because they were incapable of comprehending its higher values and because they were embittered by the hardships to which war subjected them. Propagandists therefore constantly focussed before combatants

the personal interest that was to come from the war. Month after month peasants were told, "You will own the land you have saved." The alluring promise of factory ownership was used to dazzle industrial workers. These were ideals that I could be understood by the laboring classes. The propagandists' mistake was to believe that the delusions of such promises would be suffered in silence after the war. The fact is that the laboring classes emerged from the war with an exalted idea of their own worth and importance, convinced that they had been saviors of the upper classes, more imbued than ever with Socialistic class hatred, resolved that the promises which had been made to them should be redeemed, and determined to take matters into their own hands.

The disappointments which followed Italy's diplomatic efforts after the war filled the lower classes with even greater contempt for the intellectual classes, who in the field of diplomacy had sustained humiliating defeats. The demoralizing spectacle of those who had derived power and wealth from the war made the laborers and artisans skeptical of the "ideal motives" of those who had promoted the war, and it increased class hatred. The ranks of Socialism swelled. Soon even the most extreme doctrines of Socialism Communism, for example ered a tremendous impetus.

[ocr errors]


By the end of 1919 revolution had actually broken out in Italy. Strikes in nearly all the most vital public services were nearly permanent. Army officers were frequently killed in the streets. Barracks and forts were attacked and army magazines blown up. Portraits of the King

were removed from the schools and the national colors were replaced by red flags. Land owners were com

pelled to employ Red union men according to a certain ratio of the land owned, even in the dead season. Fear reigned supreme. The demand of all classes for higher wages was insistent and mandatory. Indisci pline and disorder were rife. The peasants' forcible seizure of lands from their legitimate owners, the anxieties connected with all sorts of activities, the uncertainty of the morrow, drove many proprietors and factory owners to sell their property or business as the only escape from their dilemmas.

The authorities seemed powerless or unwilling to restore order. For half a century Italy had not been swept by such a wave of wild passions. The whole social order was on the verge of collapse, and the Government was supine, impotent. It was apparent that the imminent revolution would be based on class hatred and the dictatorship of the proletariat. At this juncture the intellectual classes began to stir. They would no longer be gored without resistance. "We are willing to accept you as co-workers, but not as masters," expressed their attitude.

The Fascisti came to the rescue, to restore order and law. Not only those who had property were numbered in its ranks. Mussolini, editor of the "Popolo d'Italia," had organized his groups into a disciplined army with its General Staff, its officers, and ranks. From the begin_ ning it appealed to and later enlisted the sympathies of the sane, serious well-wishers of the country of all classes from the highest to the lowest. The majority of this civilian army, however, were youths who clung to the ideals which ennoble life and were ready to give their lives for Liberty and Justice. Wherever there was an act of lawlessness, an insult to the flag, a wrong to right, in country or in town, a band of Fascisti would be rushed to administer adequate punishment, vary

ing from the arson of the local Socialist headquarters to burning of red flags, from bodily castigation to compelling offenders to shout "Long Live Italy!" or to drink a glass of castor oil in public. Blood was shed only when the murder of Fascisti was to be avenged or resistance was offered.


Fascismo gradually undermined reign of terror which the Extremists had succeeded in establishing. When they felt that Fascismo was gaining favor in public opinion and was sufficiently strong to guarantee them protection, they began to leave the Socialist Party, finally in great numbers. A number of cities and towns passed en masse to Fascismo. But, by a sort of natural selection, the red flag remained in the hands of the most fanatic enemies of social order, and some parts of Italy became the scenes of their worst revolutionary outbursts. The invasion of factories; the organization of the blood-thirsty Red Guards; bomb outrages like that in Milan, where innumerable innocent spectators lost their lives; the barricades of Florence; the organized slaughter in Bologna, where several city councillors were murdered; the outrageous murder of Scimula and Soncini; the wholesale slaughter of the sailors at Empoli; the frequent attempts against express trains; the seizure of the forts at Ancona where the rebels could be subdued only after systematic siege and the free use of artillery by the regular army, were the desperate convulsions of the remaining Extremists.

Nitti's Government was swept away by a wave of indignation at his wavering policy.


Mussolini is recognized as the real organizer and inspirer of the Fascisti. is an interesting figure-young, intelligent, practical, sincere, with a genius for organization. The creed of the Fascisti is this: "The interests of Italy are above every interest of a personal nature." They want a that strong Government knows how to govern without weakness All thoughtful, right thinking Italy is with them, and in Fascismo it sees the only broom capable of sweeping away the microbes and germs that are polluting and threatening the nation. Had it not been for Fascismo, Italy might have gone to Bolshevism. Fascismo was a movement of self-defense when defensive action on the part of the State was nil. It is risky to prophesy for the future, as the ranks of the Fascismo have swollen tremendously with deserters from Socialism and Communism. Fascismo may not be able to assimilate these aliens without undergoing a


No. Amer. Review, Jan. '23.



The Mind in the Making

Excerpts from the first chapter of "The Mind in the Making."
James Harvey Robinson

magical transformation could be produced in men's ways of looking at themselves and their fellows, no inconsiderable part of the evils which now afflict society would remedy themselves. There would, for instance, be no likelihood of another great war; the whole problem of “labor and capital" would be transformed; national arrogance, race animosity, political corruption, and inefficiency, would all be reduced below the danger point. As an old Stoic proverb has it, men are tormented by the opinions they have of things, rather than by the things themselves. We have available knowledge and ingenuity and material resources to make a far fairer world than that in which we find ourselves, but various obstacles stand in the way of such a beneficent change of mind. In one of his novels, H. G. Wells says:

When the intellectual history of this time comes to be written, nothing, I think, will stand out more strikingly than the empty gulf in quality between the superb and richly fruitful scientific investigations that are going on, and the general thought of other educated sections of the community. I do not mean that scientific men are a class of supermen, but in their field they think and work with an intensity, an integrity, a breadth, patience, thoroughness -excepting only a few artists-which puts their work out of all comparison with any other human activity. these particular directions the human mind has achieved a new and higher quality of attitude, a veracity a selfdetachment that tend to spread out to every other human affair.


The scientist has been astoundingly effective in constantly adding to our knowledge of the universe, and this knowledge has been so applied as to well-nigh revolutionize human affairs. But the knowledge of man, of the springs of his conduct, of his relation to his fellow-men, and the regulation

of human intercourse in the interest of harmony and fairness, have made no such advance. Aristotle's treatises on astronomy, physics, and chemistry have long gone by the board, but his politics and ethics are still revered.

When we compare the discussions in the United States Senate in regard to the League of Nations with the consideration of a broken-down car in a roadside garage the contrast is striking. The rural mechanic thinks scientifically; his only aim is to avail himself of his knowledge of the nature and workings of the car. The Senator, on the other hand, appears too often to have little idea of the nature and workings of nations and he relies on rhetoric and appeals to vague fears and hopes or mere partisan animosity. The scientists have been busy for a century in revolutionizing the practical relation of nations. The ocean is no longer a barrier, as it was in Washington's day. The Senator will, nevertheless, unblushingly appeal to policies of a century back, suitable, mayhap, in their day, but now become a warning rather than a guide. The garage man, on the contrary, takes his mechanism as he finds it, and does not allow any mystic respect for the earlier forms of the gas engine to interfere with the needed adjustments.

I do not for a moment suggest that we can use precisely the same kind of thinking in dealing with the quandaries of mankind that we use in problems of chemical reaction and mechanical adjustment. Rather, I am advocating the same general frame of mind, such a critical open-minded attitude, as has hitherto been sparsely developed among those who aspire to be men's guides, whether religious,

political, economic, or academic. Most human progress has been, as Wells expresses it, a mere "muddling through."

Plans for social betterment and the cure of public ills have in the past taken three general forms: (1) changes in the rules of the game, (2) spiritual exhortation, and (3) education. Had all these not largely failed, the world would not be in the plight in which it now confessedly is.

1. Many reformers believe that our troubles result from defective organization, which should be remedied by legislation and ordinances. Responsibility should be concentrated or dispersed, etc. But reorganization, while it sometimes produces benefit, often fails to meet existing evils, and not uncommonly engenders new and unexpected ones. What we usually need is a change of attitude. So long as we allow our government to be run by politicians and business lobbies it makes little difference how many aldermen we have or how long the mayor or governor hold office.

2. Others declare that what we need is brotherly love. Capital is too selfish; Labor is bent on its own narrow interests, etc. Yet the fatherhood of God has been preached for over 18 centuries, and the brotherhood of man by the Stoics long before that. The doctrine has proved compatible with slavery and serfdom, with wars blessed, and not infrequently instigated, by religious leaders, and witn industrial oppression which it requires a brave clergyman or teacher to denounce today. Suspicion and hate are much more congenial to our natures than love, for very obvious rea sons in this world of rivalry and common failure. There is, beyond doubt, a natural kindliness in mankind which will show itself under favorable auspices. But experience would seem to teach that it is little promoted by moral exhortation.

3. It is urged that what we need above all is education. It is quite true that we need education, but something so different from what now

passes as such that it needs a new name. Political and social questions, and matters relating to prevailing business methods, race animosities, and government policies are, if they are vital, necessarily "controversial." School boards and superintendents, trustees and presidents of colleges, are sensitive to this fact. They eagerly deprecate any suspicion that students are being awakened in any way to the truth that our institutions can possibly be fundamentally defective. Think of a teacher in the public schools recounting the more illuminating facts about the graft in the municipal government under which he lives! So, courses in government, political economy, sociology, ethics, confine themselves to inoffensive generalizations, harmless details of organization, for only in that way_can they escape being controversial. Even if teachers are tempted to tell the essential facts they dare not do so, for fear of losing their places.

I have no reforms to recommend, exIf cept the liberation of Intelligence. Intelligence is to have the freedom and action necessary to accumulate new and valuable knowledge about man's nature and possibilities which may ultimately be applied to reforming our ways, it must loose itself from the bonds that now confine it. No one denies that Intelligence is the light of the world and the chief glory of man, but, as Bertrand Russell says, "It is fear that holds men back; fear that their cherished beliefs should prove harmful. Should the workingman think freely about property? What then will become of us, the rich? Should young men and women think freely about sex? What then will become of morality? Should soldiers think freely about war? What then will become of military discipline?"

How, then, are we to rid ourselves of our fond prejudices and open our minds? The writer believes that history can shed a great deal of light on our present predicaments and confusion-not the history of kings and popes, but of the rise and fall of ideas, the comings and goings of beliefs and opinions. History makes plain the reasons for our intellectual bondage, and points the way of escape and the consequent lightening of the world's burden of stupidity. The mind of man is evidently still in the making, and has as yet realized but few of the infinite possibilities before it.

« AnteriorContinuar »