« PreviousContinue »
IN ITS RELATIONS TO
ARTHUR CLEVELAND HALL, Ph.D.
Fellow in Sociology, Columbia, 1894–95.
STUDIES IN HISTORY, ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC LAW
EDITED BY THE FACULTY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE OF
THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE.
The first few pages of this book seem very pessimistic, but in truth the author's view is a broadly optimistic one, growing more so with the progress of his work, which offers, to those who read, an answer to this strange enigma, by revealing the social good which rests within the growing mass of crime. The minds of many men to-day are filled with anxious fears and forebodings because of this increasing weight of evil, the fruit of our higher civilization; for they fail to trace within the gloom those strong forces working out social betterment by means of this very increase of crime which they so deplore.
Human good and human evil are many-sided—not fixed and unchanging, but largely relative—and compounded in ever-varying proportions the one with the other. Often, very often, evil is but good out of its proper time and place. Things must be looked at in their historic setting, if we would rightly value them. Only by a very wide, impersonal view—a long perspective—in which the individual and his immediate needs are merged in the continued welfare of the human race, can we see, “as through a glass, darkly," the vast outlines of eternal good, can we grow into that highhearted and grandly reasonable hope that
“There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound;
(Browning.) Abt Vogler.
A student of these problems of crime for many years, the