Basic Facts For Sociologists -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 075:300 (Oct 1918)
Article: Basic Facts For Sociologists
Author: Anonymous

Basic Facts For Sociologists

1st. Truth does not permit us to overlook the fact that Nature’s gifts are neither prodigal nor evenly distributed. Civilization is the product only of constant toil and self-denial. It is difficult both to acquire and to retain the capital necessary to attain the ends of civilized society. At no time is there on hand eighteen months’ supply of provisions for the world. Starvation is never far from the door of society as a whole. Even the solid structures forming the most permanent investments of capital become worthless if neglected for only a few years.

2d. Population tends to increase faster than attainable means of sustenance. The population of the United States has increased from 5,000,000 in 1800 to 100,000,000 in 1915, that is, twentyfold. The population in England has increased from 8,000,000 in 1800 to 34,000,000 in 1910, more than fourfold. The population of the British Isles increased from 15,000,000 in 1800 to 45,000,000 in 1900, or threefold. The population of Japan has increased from 33,000,000 in 1874 to 56,000,000 in 1916, or nearly twofold. The population of Germany has increased from 33,000,000 in 1866 to 65,000,000 in 1910, thus doubling in a little of over forty years.

The abundant supply of raw material in the United States-has been made possible by the exploitation of its superabundant reserve stores of nature; but the fertility of the land has already been uniformly depleted, and to continue the increasing needed supply of agricultural products there must

be an enormous investment of capital and a revolution in agricultural methods. It will be impossible to supply the populations of Great Britain, Germany, and Japan with the necessities of life if the populations continue to increase at their present rate. Previous to 1874, the population of Japan had been kept down by infanticide, and periodical outbreaks of pestilence and famine. The abolition of infanticide and the introduction of compulsory vaccination and general hygienic improvements have secured the rate of increase noted. Not only the Japanese statesmen, but the German, the British, are, and the American statesmen will be in the near future, at their wits’ end to adjust their laws to the changing conditions connected with this increase of population. Destructive as is the present war, population will soon recover its rate of increase and bring to the surface the problems involved in these facts.

3d. An equal distribution of the world’s goods among its population would in the end scarcely raise at all the general level of comfort. If the profits of our agricultural and manufacturing interests were wholly distributed among the whole population, it would not add m...

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