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Eder, M.D. (1925). Ethics and Some Modern World Problems: By William McDougall, F.R.S. (Methuen & Co., London. Pp. 235. Price 7 s. 6 d. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:517-518.

(1925). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 6:517-518

Ethics and Some Modern World Problems: By William McDougall, F.R.S. (Methuen & Co., London. Pp. 235. Price 7 s. 6 d. net.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

The publishers announce on the cover that this volume is by the most distinguished psychologist of the present day. The claim is not contested, but it becomes all the more remarkable that the 'valuable suggestions towards a new world order' (to quote the publishers) are not based upon psychological but upon historical and political principles and pseudoscientific views about race supported by such authorities as the late Charles Pearson and William Archer. This is not the place to discuss fully what dire consequences will result (in the author's opinion) should the population of the United States become 'one in which the blood of the old American stock (of predominantly Nordic race) will be hardly represented; it will be a population formed by the blending of descendants of South-eastern Europeans and of Turks, Armenians, Negros, Mexicans, etc.' It sounds dreadful indeed when put in this way by Professor McDougall. The question has been statistically examined by Raymond Pearl, himself of pure 'Nordic' stock, who comes to the conclusion: 'The kind of people who will survive and run the affairs of the country will … I think not be Englishmen, or Slavs, or Jews, or Italians, but Americans. I think they will be just as gentle, as high-minded, as clever, as honourable and as independent as any people on the face of the earth' (The Vitality of the Peoples of America).

The world to-day is ruled, according to Professor McDougall, by two divergent systems of ethics which he terms the class of universal ethics and the class of national ethics.

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