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mal education had a keener sense of averages, golf scores, Jack Dempsey, foreign policy and international politics Andy Gump, the vicissitudes of homethan all but one out of a thousand of our brewing and buying boctleg, the contemporaries seem to have of world naughtiness of women's dress, the affairs today. Men knew rather inti. morals of the movie stars, the social mately what their governments, state significance of "flappers." But men. and federal, were doing all the time, tion public affairs, and the normal and they cared. They thought of the group responds with apathetic plati. government as being intimately them. tudes or bored cynicism-and a quick selves, and not an extraneous group change of subject. of experts and political tricksters at

When the old man Bartons are all Washington.

dead, will anybody but stigmatized Today, with facilities for informa- "bighbrows" ever discuss public altion unexcelled in history, one is con- fairs at all? fronted on every side with otherwise Insofar as we cynically pronounce intelligent people who have no infor

ourselves unable to shake off political mation at all. And instead of inter

incompetence and corruption whether est, one is confronted with their blank

interested or not; insofar as we let apathy. At the height of the 1924 ourselves become afflicted with what presidential campaign, I overheard a

Bryce called the “fatalism of the mul. rash elderly gentleman introduce poli- titude” and evade all inquiry into tics into the general conversation of

public issues with the philosophy of a Pullman smoker.

“What's the use, let George do it while "Yeah, Coolidge is a good man," a

you and I talk about movie plots," we salesman admitted. “Davis is a good

are approaching the borderline of unman, too,” said a vacationist. A long

fitness for self-government. silence. The conversation was plainly If less than half of our elegible ready to die of malnutrition. “Yeah, voters were at the polls in 1920 and the country'll be safe no matter which barely half at the election of 1924, the is elected,” another salesman yawned fact that nothing in their daily hnwith finality. Thus the company had man contacts had fired them to any paid its polite tribute to the elderly political interest must be held pri. man's incomprehensible interest in marily responsible. Of those who did go, these tiresome matters.

how many, during these campaigns

of subtle and complex bearing upon It is this universal insistence upon

the future of the republic, were ever simplifying issues that one finds per

forced to defend their views against haps the most striking sign of our

shrewd and vigorous opposition, or ennew political decrepitude. The old

couraged to formulate them in any time American was interested in the

constructive fullness among friends? complexities of issues. They were his

Probably but an insignificant fraction means of entrapping his enemies an:

of those who in 1896 and 1856 met of impressing his friends with his

such tests with gallantry and virile learning. If the foreign debt question,

delight, and to the improvement of for example, had arisen 40 years ago,

their mental resources and the char. he would have been full of compli

acter of their citizenship. cated economic theories and statistics, showing the effect of vast internation.

The danger is, that our apathy of al money transactions on export and

today may become a fixed habit. We import trade and the prosperity of

can breed up generations of slackers the nation.

of democracy as easily as the other

kind-perhaps more easily. SomeIn the country store, the hotel lobby, thing of the old instinctive sense of the club, the neighborhood drug shor, the vitality of our institutions and of the friendly dinner party, one can the citizen's intimate and individual start almost instantly a fairly shrewd relation to them must return, or we and lively conversation about batting are likely to do it.

Mexico Today

Excerpts from The Mentor (April '26)

Thomas F. Lee

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N the map Mexico looks like a

horn of plenty with its mouth

opening to the Rio Grande... Bulging up from its center and running through it from north to south is a high plateau-a mountain desert table, 95 per cent of which cau. not be cultivated. This plateau covers by far the greater part of Mexico. Be. tween the walls of this table and the Pacific is a narrow bench of alluvial land. A much wider strip lies between the plateau walls and the Gulf.

Economically the horn of plenty as a symbol of Mexico is misleading. The mass of her people seldom know the satisfaction of a full stomach. This is not so much the fault of soil and climate as of race heritage and gov. ernment. True, Mexico is rich in min. eral products, but great mineral wealth which can be exploited only by large capital has generally demoralized rather than given prosperity to poor and bankrupt nations.

Scarcely five per cent of Mexico's area-an area not so large as Ohio is arable. The 95 per cent is made up of desert, mountains and hot, unbealthful lowlands, in which ordinary farming operations may not be successfully carried on without great capital.

Mexico is not a unified nation; it is a collection of loosely connected communities, each with its own separate customs, folk-ways and life. More than 26 different languages or dialects are spoken in the republic by as many different tribes, each of which refers to its own little valley or locality as "my country.” The rest of the country is foreign to them.

These communities belong to various tribes and are worked in common for the general good. Attempts have been

made by certain administrations to buy or subdivide these communities, but the effect upon the Indian has been non-appreciable. Four hundred years of domination by a handful of Spaniards and a larger group of halfbreeds bas done little to change the Indian. He is still a pagan barbarian who, even after years of Catholicism, still worships his ancient gods.

Mexico is an Indian country. Most people think of it as Spanish. in Mexico today an estimate of two per cent of the population would greatly exaggerate the number of white people or men of superior race types. Thirty-five per cent of the population would likewise be an exaggerated estimate of the number of half-breedsthose in whom some white blood di. lutes the Indian strain. The remaining 63 per cent is an inert, illiterate Indian mass not at all concerned with pclitics, education or progress.

During the 30 years of Spanish rule the country was cut up into enormous grants which were parceled out to favorites of the crown. Upon each of such tracts there were generally large numbers of Indians who "went with the land." They became serts or peons who looked to the master for the petty needs of their sordid lives. These Indians, in addition to producing food for their own liveli. hood, in the aggregate produced a considerable surplus which helped to enrich the landowner.

Like the feudal system of old, these serfs were called upon to fight for the master—to defend his possessions or to make war upon others. The primitive government really revolved about these feudal lords. Of course in each great gection of the country there would develop one man stronger than the rest who came to be the powerful headman of that section. These conditions apply today.

The Indian, therefore, never thinks of the government or, above that, of the “president"-he thinks only of his own patron or master and fights for him.

An army in those days and in fact to the present time is not an organi. zation of so many brigades—it is still, in large measure, a group of caciques, or headmen, with their henchmen, peons and Indians. One of the greatest problems of the Mexican “presi. dent" always has been to provide sufficient loot or income to keep these caciques, or generals, from turning against him and starting another revolution.

In the great mass of the people there is no national consciousness, there is no patriotism, as we understand it. The common soldier never fights for a principle always does he give himself for some person, usually the petty official closest to him.

Mexico is an Indian country and the traditions of her masses come down from Toltec and Aztec sources. Her people do not think as we think. They do not react to a given set of circumstances as we would react to them. We never reach right conclusions when we try to judge them by our standards; hence, the conclusions of our government officials and private individuals are often wrong. This accounts for a continuous state of irri. tation in our relationships.

The Mexican constitution calls for regular elections and democracic government, but neither is possible with a 90 per cent population of Indians and peons of the lowest type. Mexico's rulers are not "presidents" think of presidents. They are dictators who control lawmaking, law enforcement and the courts. When a "president" fails to monopolize these functions a stronger dictator generally takes his place.

Mexico's rulers reach their office by force or show of force and not by the will of the people. Probably no form of government other than an unlimited dictatorship could control that

overwhelming majority of low race elements.

The president and the land commissioners can do pretty much as they please, under the present constitution, in the matter of land distribution. Under these conditions no one will buy or sell land, or lend money on rural properties in Mexico. The American can only buy land under permission of the Mexican president, and then only after having waived his rights as an American citizen. Failure to conform in this makes his property subject to outright confisca. tion.

Spanish is the official language of Mexico, but one-third of the population cannot understand it. There are no schools as we know schools. Almost none of the Indian and peon mass receives instruction in public schools. Outside of two dailies, used as publicity mediums for those in power in the capital, Mexico has no independent press in the American sense.

The marriage institution in many sections has been all but abolished through a divorce system whose lati. tude makes marriage a farce. In Yucatan a man might obtain a divorce within 24 hours, without notice to his wife. A large number of the chil. dren born in Mexico today are “na. tural” born. One woman may have four children by as many different fathers. The care and upbringing of this brood devolves upon the mother, the father not even recognizing his parenthood.

Civilization in Mexico as it applies to the greater part of the population is in a semi-barbaric state. A small group of whites and half-breeds, the educated class (and, up to the present era of radicalism, the ruling class), know the same civilization that we have developed. They are highly edu. cated, capable men. This limited group is civilization's only hope in that country today. They for four centuries have attempted to impose

Aryan civilization and culture upon a primitive mass. An observer must report that their effort has left slight imprint.




America Takes the Lead in Aviation

Condensed from The World's Work (April '26)

Howard Mingos

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Aircraft investigations of the past five years have been most important, for Congress has become educated in aviation matters.

The Kelley bill, passed in February, 1925, went a long way toward forming a national air policy in authorizing the Postmaster-General to contract with private parties for flying the mails between designated points. Immediate

a group of prominent men nounced the formation of the National Air Transport to operate airplane services between principal cities. The character of the organizers produced striking results immediately. Bankers, capitalists, big business houses, and leaders in rail and water transport commenced talking air traffic and, moreover, investing their personal funds in aviation projects. The Bingham bill has passed the Senate and is on its way through the House with the promise of members that it will become a law. The meastire provides for a bureau of civil avi. åtlon in the Department of Commerce which shall control all civilian flying in the United States. All pilots must be licensed, their machines registered and supervised by periodic inspections to prove that they are safe. The department will chart airways for commercial use, procure landing fields, hangar equipment, repair shops, radio stations, aerial beacons, ground and route lights. The government, !n short, will maintain public highways of the air, just as it provides lighthouses, harbors, radio service, ice

patrol, and other facilities for the merchant marine.

Secretary Hoover is prepared to place the bureau in operation immediately after receiving authority, and unless the unforeseen occurs the bureau will be functioning within a few months. Mr. Hoover possesses a keen vision of our immediate future in the air. He sees cargo planes operating between all large cities and controlled by financially sound companies organized like the railroads and merchant marine. He knows that the entire industry will become a self-supporting reserve in the defensive establishment. The industry is confident that Mr. Hoover will place American aviation so far on the road to permanent progress that there will be no chance of failure.

The operators now entering the field point to the increasing popularity of the transcontinental air mail route. The Federal air mail service has been developed from a short day line started between New York and Washington in 1918. It is now a day and night service between the coasts and more mail is carried through the air on that one route alone than in all other countries combined.

Night flying equipment has been developed here to a greater extent than in Europe. Recent tests with the radio direction finder show encourag. ing progress and it is believed that the day is not distant when pilots fly. ing in storm, fog, mist, snow, and at night will be able to keep to the route regardless of their ability to see past the nose of the machine. It will be the greatest safety device in aviation.

The night route between New York and Chicago already returns a profit

to the Post Office Department. The Approximately 100 air transport service west of Chicago is not self- companies are in process of organiza. supporting but is showing gradual im- tion in the United States. A third are provement. The public is becoming financed by private subscription. An. more generous with air mail stampa. other third are proceeding on a shoeThe transcontinental route will be string, trusting to luck and future leased or sold to private companies events to pull them through. The rewhen they prove their ability to oper- maining 30, possibly more, are stockate it, or it will become a part of the selling, blue-sky outfits that do not national airways system under the De- intend to operate and should be driven partment of Commerce. It would then out of business before they unload be available to the public, correspond. their worthless shares on the public. ing to the Lincoln Highway-fields, There is little doubt that the history lights, and auxiliary equipment main- of commercial aviation will parallel tained by the government for private that of surface transportation. Every machines.

medium from railroads to canals and

rootor cars has claimed its share of Another reason for widespread en

sacrifices. couragement among flyers has been Henry Ford's entrance into aviation.

One hundred and ten cities are now Late in January contracts had been preparing air harbors for the craft let by the Post Office Department for which they expect in the near future. nine routes, all to be in operation by April. These routes are: New York,

The uses for aircraft are amazing Hartford and Boston; Chicago, Spring

in their variety. One company alone field and St. Louis; Chicago, St. Jo.

is using 20 planes in "cotton dusting" seph, Kansas City, Wichita, Okla

to exterminate the boll weevil. It is homa City, Dallas and Fort Wortn,

officially estimated that the maximum Texas; Salt Lake City and Los Ange

use of planes for this purpose alone les; Elko (Nev.), Boise (Ida.) and

would save the cotton growers about Pasco (Wn.); Detroit and Cleveland;

$135,000,000 a year. The U. S. TopoDetroit and Chicago; Seattle, San

graphic Survey plans to cover 44 per Francisco, and Los Angeles; Chicago,

cent of its field work in 1926 by airMilwaukee, St. Paul and Minneapolis.

planes, with a saving to the govern.

ment of about $9,000,000. Three of Other routes which are scheduled

the larger aerial photographic comto be operating or well under way

panies aggregated nearly a million before this article is published include dollars in 1925. Other planes are fly. a line between Cleveland and Birm- ing in forest fire patrols, timber cruisingham, taking in Indianapolis, Louis- ing, relief work, and in fact, all emerville, and Nashville; another between

gency duties where speed is essential. Atlanta, Jacksonville and Miami; an. other between Los Angeles and Kan. This country is geographically fitted sas City; and another between Ohio for air traffic on a scale impossible in and New Orleans. According to pres

Europe. Distances are vast. Unlike ent indications, more than 100 planes Europe's, our transportation does not will be carrying the mails on American radiate from one or two cities. There air routes before the end of the sum- are about 50 centers, all important. mer. Each company receives a pro Standards of living are higher here. rata share of the receipts for special More traveling is done per capita and air mail postage at 10 cents an ounce. more mail carried than anywhere else.

With Federal supervision of civil aviaThat is only a beginning. At first the companies are planning to carry

tion and with the general interest it only the mail, gradually working into

is believed that we shali be able to parcel post, which offers a wide and maintain our lead in the air, chiefly profitable field. Passenger carrying because everybody now recognizes that will follow.

it is possible for us to do it.

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