In the final analysis, it will probably be demonstrated that for a certain type of personality there can be no compromise which will resolve the conflict between the egoistic inclinations and the interests of the group. For those whose deepest desires are so out of harmony with the social life of the times there is no alternative but to sacrifice their personal desires or to forfeit the pleasure of feeling in complete rapport with their fellows. In such natures, the ultimate course of conduct will be determined by the relative strengths of the individualistic and gregarious impulses, other things being equal. In some instances this will mean the choice of a line of conduct out of harmony with the general trend of group life; in others, it will mean the repression of personal inclinations and conformity to social standards.
For the majority of people, however, it is likely that a more rational form of social control, freed from the long ages of taboo restrictions, and based upon accurate biological and psychological knowledge, will solve the disharmony between the individual and the group to a great extent. Such a rationalization will take into account the value of a new ideal of love which shall be built up from a sane relationship between the sexes and in accordance with eugenic standards. It will also grant a great deal of personal autonomy in the determination of sexual relationships in so far as this can be correlated with the welfare of the children of the race. Last of all, it will attempt to condition the emotional reactions to respond to stimuli which shall insure eugenic mating naturally and without the intervention of legislation.
Unless modern civilization can set up some such form of rational control for the sexual and reproductive life of its members, the present conflict between individuation and socialization will continue and the dysgenic factors now operative in society will steadily increase. In the end, this internal conflict may become so powerful as to act as an irresistible disintegrating force that will shatter the fabric of modern social organization. Only the evolution of a rationalized method of control can avert this social catastrophe.
1. Anthony, Katharine. Feminism in Germany and Scandinavia. Henry Holt, N.Y., 1915.
2. Bloch, Ivan. Sexual Life of Our Time. Rebman, London, 1908.
3. Burgess, E.W. The Function of Socialization in Social Evolution. Univ. Chicago Press, 1916.
4. Finck, H.T. Romantic Love and Personal Beauty. Macmillan, N.Y., 1891.