Decades of Darkness #92: Age of Reason
Decades of Darkness #92: Age of Reason
â€œThe question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? My Lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence these new fanged theories.â€
-- Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister
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Excerpts from: â€œDesign and Evolution: The Natural Selection of Speciesâ€
Original author: Patrick Matthew
First published in 1832
This edition (c) 1948 by Haviland Press, Adelaide, Australia
Introduced by Prof. Robert Hutton, University of Adelaide
From the introduction:
Patrick Matthew is viewed, with considerable justification, as the father of modern evolutionary theory. He was not the first modern thinker to propose theories of evolution, being preceded among other by Erasmus Darwin and Chevalier de Lamarck. But he was the first to articulate the crucial mechanism of natural selection, without which evolution and common descent made little sense. Matthewâ€™s theory of evolution provided that vital concept, and had a revolutionary impact on biology.
While his theory faces considerable revision from modern authorities, particularly over his emphasis on stasis over graduated change, his inclusion of theological concepts, and his failure to recognise natural selection as a major constructive mechanism for new adaptations, his essential insight remains ...
From the book:
â€œAs nature, in all her modifications of life, has a power of increase far beyond what is needed to supply the place of what falls by Time's decay, those individuals who possess not the requisite strength, swiftness, hardihood, or cunning, fall prematurely without reproducing - either a prey to their natural devourers, or sinking under disease, generally induced by want of nourishment, their place being occupied by the more perfect of their own kind, who are pressing on the means of subsistence...
â€œThere is more beauty and unity of design in this continual balancing of life to circumstance, and greater conformity to those dispositions of nature which are manifest to us, than in total destruction and new creation. It is improbable that much of this diversification is owing to commixture of species nearly allied, all change by this appears very limited, and confined within the bounds of what is called species; the progeny of the same parents, under great differences of circumstance, might, in several generations, even become distinct species, incapable of co-reproduction...
â€œGeology has shown us that the earth is from time to time rocked by upheavals, which leave an unoccupied field for new diverging ramifications of life... In the time of upheaval, the modifications of life come to the fore, and in these differences of circumstances the bounds of species are relinquished, as new forms appear on the earth. After the time of crisis, each new form will prosper, fit to endure. A particular conformity, each after its own kind, no doubt exists to a considerable degree. This conformity has existed during the last forty centuries. Geologists discover a like particular conformity - fossil species - through the deep deposition of each great epoch, but they also discover an almost complete difference to exist between the species or stamp of life on one epoch from that of every other...
â€œIt is indubitable that there is a sentiment of beauty pervading Nature, which affords evidence of intellect and benevolence in the scheme of Nature...
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Taken from: â€œEmigration Fieldsâ€
(c) 1840 by Patrick Matthew
Walker & Son Publishing Company
Edinburgh: Scotland, UK
â€œThe current human condition, where the growth of the populace is unchecked but the food which must sustain them cannot grow to match, presents the human race with its own time of upheaval. The struggle for existence will lead only to poverty and death within these lands, unless a solution be found. The whole of the unpeopled regions of the earth may now be said to be British ground, and emigration presents the true opportunity to solve this upheaval. In the agitation which accompanies emigration, the ablest in mind and body - the most powerful varieties of the race will be thrown into their natural positions as leaders, impressing the stamp of their character on the people at large, and constituting the more reproductive part; while the feebler or more improvident varieties will generally sink under incidental hardship ...
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Excerpts from: â€œA Different Flesh: The Hireling and the Slaveâ€
Written in 1851 by William John Grayson 
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Published by John Russell & Associates
Science has shown that after a time of upheaval, each race is thrown into crisis, with a form more perfect to their locale arising in each circumstance. In our long-lost antiquity such a shaping formed the present races of mankind...
In the tropics of Africa, amidst the jungles and rivers of that warm land, were shaped the African race. Of the darkness of his skin, to suit the harsh sun of the tropics, no more need be said. There also was formed a difference in character. To endure in the warmest and most disease-ridden parts of the world, the Negro race was gifted in fortitude, resilience, vigour in heat, but at the expense of wit and aggression, and thus shaped in docility. In this manner the Negro became perfected in survival, but at the same time his mind and body moving at a lesser pace to survive the heat of the tropics. This lesser mind, while well-suited for the locale in which the Negro lived, permitted him not the advances of the civilized arts, as can be proven by the failure of any native civilization to arise in all the vastness of Africa .
In the colder lands of Europe, with its more rugged mountains, in its greater challenges of Nature, where food was harder to find, the winters harsher, were shaped the white race. Here stood not the enemies of heat and disease, but the challenges of survival itself, where the greatest danger to a manâ€™s survival was not the plague of malaria or exhaustion from heat, but that he might lack subsistence because a man more vigorous had taken in from him. Thus arose a race white in hue, sharp of mind, aggressive and vigorous in pursuit of individual interests, the better shaped to survive and prosper in a harsh world. Here, created in adversity, arose our ancestors, and civilization advanced under the leadership of the white race...
But it came to pass that the white race discovered the New World which we now inhabit. The vigour and drive of the white race was well-served in exploring and settling the Americas, but the fortitude and resilience of the Negro were also valued, and thus the African race came also to the New World. With these races in collision, there could have arisen a time of upheaval, which in time would have led only to the extinction of one race. But Nature demands only that in time of crisis that a new stability be established, and then natural selection will act to hold and perfect each race within its new status. Thus was forged a new relationship, with the superior wit and vigour of the white race to be placed above, and the docility and fortitude of the African to be placed beneath, where he could endure, labour and be protected by his masterâ€™s benevolent hand...
When transferred to the New World, the Negroâ€™s fortitude in the heat meant that he became indolent by degree â€“ a natural response to the heat of his homeland, but ill-suited to the New World and in a new society where their old methods would not prevail. For the rectification of this status, the white race has relied on the long-sanctioned institution of slavery.
Slavery is that system of labour which exchanges subsistence for work, which secures a life-maintenance from the master to the slave, and gives a life-labour from the slave to the master. The slave is an apprentice for life, and owes his labour to his master; the master owes support, during life, to the slave. Slavery is the Negro system of labour. Slavery makes all work, and it ensures homes, food and clothing for all. It permits no idleness, and it provides for sickness, infancy and old age. It allows no tramping or skulking, and it knows no pauperism.
If Slavery is subject to abuses, it has its advantages also. It establishes more permanent, and, therefore, kinder relations between capital and labour. It removes what Stuart ill calls "the widening and embittering feud between the class of labour and the class of capital." It draws the relation closer between master and servant. It is not an engagement for days or weeks, but for life. There is no such thing, with slavery, as a labourer for whom nobody cares or provides. The most wretched feature, in hireling labour, is the isolated miserable creature who has no home, no work, no food, and in whom no one is particularly interested. This is seen among hirelings only, in New England and in other northern states.
I do not say that slavery is the best system of labour for all men and for all time, but only that it is the best, for the Negro, in this country. In a nation composed of the same race or similar races, where the labourer is intelligent, industrious and provident, money wages may be better than subsistence. Even under all advantages, there are great defects in the hireling labour system, for which, hitherto, no foreigner has discovered an adequate remedy. In hireling nations such as New England there are thousands of idlers, trampers, poachers, smugglers, drunkards and thieves, who make theft a profession. There are thousands who suffer for want of food and clothing, from inability to obtain them. For these two classes - those who will not work, and those who cannot - there is no sufficient provision. Among slaves there are no trampers, idlers, smugglers, poachers, and none suffer from want. Every one is made to work, and no one is permitted to starve. Slavery does for the Negro what European schemers in vain attempt to do for the hireling. It secures work and subsistence for all. It secures ore order and subordination also. The master is a Commissioner of the Poor, on every plantation, to provide food, clothing, medicine, houses, for his people. He is a police officer to prevent idleness, drunkenness, theft, or disorder. I do not mean by formal appointment of law, but by virtue of his relation to his slaves. There is, therefore, no starvation among slaves. There are, comparatively, few crimes. If there are paupers in the United States, they are the hirelings of other countries, who have run away fro their homes. Pauperism began, with them, when serfage was abolished...
What more can be required of slavery, in reference to the Negro, than has been done? It has made him, from a savage in crisis in a new world, to an orderly and efficient labourer. It supports him in comfort and peace. It restrains his vices. It improves his mind, orals and manners. It instructs him in Christian knowledge...
All Christians believe that the affairs of the world are directed by Providence for wise and good purposes. The coming of the Negro to North America makes no exception to the rule. His transportation was a rude mode of emigration; the only practicable one in his case; not attended with more wretchedness than the emigrant ship often exhibits even now, notwithstanding the passenger law. What the purpose of his coming is, we may not presume to judge. But we can see much good already resulting from it - good to the Negro, in his improved condition; to the country whose rich fields he has cleared of the forest and made productive in climates unfit for the labour of the white man; to the continent of Africa in furnishing, as it may ultimately, the only means for civilizing its people...
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From: â€œAmerica In Upheaval: The Dawn of a New Epochâ€ 
(c) 1867 by WR Yancey 
Published by JM Bertrand, New Orleans, Louisiana
The mingling of races in has placed these continents, and mankindâ€™s place on them, in upheaval. For in the old order each race had its place in the world, bound by geography and perfected for its environment, but the old order was cast down by Columbus and his followers. Men of both European and African stock were transplanted to the New World, taking their place alongside the Indians who dwelt here formerly.
From this time of upheaval, a new order would inevitably form, one perfected to its new situation, but this new order inevitably takes time before it has formed. The creation of the new order has been hindered by the division amongst the white races. For there arose in what was then British North America those men of white blood who kept clear boundaries between the races, and thus each race could be perfected within its own kind and within its new world. But to the south lay the lands of Spanish-ruled America, where men of white blood ruled, but where few then understood the danger of allowing blood to mix between the races. It must be further said that such a mixing of blood, white to Indian, Indian to African and even, though it rarely be said, but must be admitted, white to African, has happened to a lesser degree even in the lands of North America.
This mixing of bloods does but prolong the upheaval which faces the Americas. If the races be kept separate, then those same qualities which are favoured in the white race will be perfected, and any qualities from other races will be eradicated. Amongst the Negroes, even those who have received some small dose of white blood will find that it is diluted and eradicated from their lineage with the passage of time, as they become perfected to their environment of inevitable servitude. In a brief span of years, the upheaval amongst white and black will thus be ended.
But this situation is different in the lands of former Mexico and Cuba, which were ruled by men whose blood is the same European one from which has sprung our own American stock. Here, the blood of the races has been mixed, with white and Indian, a race who are less worthy than white men but still stronger than the African race, and here, the question remains of how to end this upheaval and restore to each race its proper place, so that it may be perfected within its own environment. Those who have proven themselves the most perfect to thrive in this environment  have assuredly shown that their European blood is predominant. But for those who are beneath, it is not clear which heritage shall be favoured. In the new environment created in the United States, these men must remain in a more modest lot, not servitude as the Negro enjoys, but less than that of men of European stock. Over generations those with European blood will find those qualities are perfected, and they will grow until they are treated as white men like any other...
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Extract taken from a speech delivered by Governor Charles Ramsey of North Carolina, during his unsuccessful vice-presidential campaign in 1888
â€œNo man can doubt that the present century has seen a Matthist crisis, a time of catastrophe and change when all that was has been weakened, and a new order is being fashioned. Those nations who possess not the requisite strength, hardihood or cunning shall fall prematurely.
â€œThe old borders have crumbled. It was said in the first days of Our Lordâ€™s message that his followers had turned the world upside down. So in modern times the Christian nations of Europe have broken the world and reshaped it in their image. The weaker races are being cast down, and the superior races of Europe have taken possession of the globe. The Indies [i.e. both Indian and the East Indies] have long been ruled by men of European stock. Now the advance of civilization has allowed men of white blood to take possession of Africa. That continent has been divided by the two greatest races of Europe, the British race and the German race, with a few scraps left for the other Powers.
â€œAll this bodes well for Europe. They have expanded their domains, as part of the struggle for existence. To grow is to thrive; not to grow is to stagnate and be left behind in the time of crisis. The American race must not be allowed to fall behind in this struggle. We too must expand, we too must grow, or we too shall fall during the time of upheaval...
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Taken from the editorial of the Columbia Register
4 March 1937
It used to be said that there were only four races in the world: African, European, Mongolian and Indian. But this was the old state of the world, when Europeans lived in Europe, Africans in Africa, Indians in the Americas and Mongolians in the Orient. The migration of the European peoples to the Americas created a new environment, and a new race has arisen to suit this.
This is the American race. Better evolved than its ancestors, better suited to this new world, shaped by new crises, and fashioned into the qualities of leadership and wit required by its rulership over the other races of the New World. Superior not only to those of African and Indian blood, over whom American blood has proven the stronger, but also superior to those of European blood who have settled North America but who have not yet perfected themselves to suit the new environment. They have mixed themselves with African blood, and by keeping their races together they have not allowed the qualities of the lesser race to breed out, as they would have done over time. These Europeans in America are thus of inferior stock to the American race, and deserve to have proper order and status enforced on them until their own blood can be allowed to breed true...
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 In OTL, Patrick Matthew published an obscure and largely unnoticed precursor to Darwin and Wallaceâ€™s theory of natural selection. Matthewâ€™s theory of natural selection had much in common with Darwinâ€™s and Wallaceâ€™s, including the idea of a struggle for existence, but it also had some important differences. In particular, he emphasised the action of natural selection as an agent of stasis, viewed extinctions as happening only during catastrophes, and thus keeping populations where they are now. He also remained convinced for the importance of keeping a divine being in the process. His theory of natural selection is thus more acceptable to the religious sections of the United States, and can be readily converted to an ideology of being a God-favoured race which deserves to dominate the other, fixed inferior races of humanity.
 Even in OTL, Patrick Matthew became a social reformer who advocated emigration as a means of avoiding what he saw as a Malthusian population catastrophe. He saw this as a positive step, i.e. that it would prevent human misery. However, this doesnâ€™t stop other people taking his concepts and taking them in directions he would never have approved of.
 In OTL, William Grayson published an account of slavery titled â€œThe Hireling and the Slaveâ€, justifying slavery in terms of it being a good system when dealing with people of different races. ITTL, I have him expanding such views to take into account some of the pseudo-scientific aspects of Matthism (the social proponents of the theory, not the scientific aspects, much like Social Darwinism arose in OTL).
 There are several flaws in this pseudoscientific babble, of course, but Graydon has not forgotten the Egyptians or other civilizations which arose within Africa. He just defines â€œAfricanâ€ to mean those residents of Africa with darker skin, and he would regard Egyptians as closer to Europeans than to â€œAfricansâ€.
 This book was written at a time when the United States had just conquered much of Mexico, and was trying to sort out what to do with Cuba and Puerto Rico. This required some adjustments to their old views of a simple racial hierarchy (i.e. youâ€™re white or youâ€™re black).
 An ATL â€œbrotherâ€ of William Lowndes Yancey (born in Georgia but an Alabama legislator). This TLâ€™s Yancey is even more pro-slavery than our history.
 i.e. those who are wealthy and powerful, even if they are actually of Indian heritage.
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Kaiser Wilhelm III
P.S. This post was originally intended to show some of the other philosophies developing in the DoD world, including this timelineâ€™s version of socialism and social democracy, and some of the anti-slavery movement. Space and time considerations mean that Iâ€™ve postponed those sections to a subsequent post; Iâ€™m not sure how long it will take to finalise.