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Manitoba History No. 89
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No. 89

War Memorials in Manitoba
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Jack Houston’s Editorials in the OBU Bulletin: 12 June 1920

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Individualism

In Industry, in politics, in religion, even the principle of “Every man for himself” is not “well seen” today.

In place of this principle of individualism, there has come into the world another conception of life and the guiding thread that should govern social relations; this is the principle of race solidarity.

Marx said that the manner by which men made their living together determined their social, politically and intellectual life processes generally.

When the machine processes of production became the prevailing process by which men made their living together, there was bound to follow, so soon as time sufficient to make the necessary mental adjustments had been given, profound changes in man’s ways of looking at all of his social relations.

Now it is seen that all of man’s institutions should be made to conform to the new industrial methods which are forced on the world by the greater efficiency of the new and more complex systems of production brought into being by the machine.

It is the shift from the “I” method of looking at human affairs to the “we” method of observing and appreciating human relations.

The man who retains the old “I” standards is a reactionary and stands in the way of human progress until he is compelled to recognize that he is living in a changed world. What is wanted is to see that the change has come into the world and to lead to subordinate, to the required degree the selfish instincts, so that the world may go on unhampered in the direction it must follow.

In making the shift there must come in clash of cultures, wars and revolutions, the destruction of civilization and, perhaps, the death of racial types.

Man, in making the adjustments, is still at the mercy of his instincts. Institutions are not built by rationalizing. History showed more examples of peoples who have failed to survive than those who have saved themselves alive, in the making of the shift from one culture to another.

Page revised: 6 August 2013

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