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J., E. (1922). National Welfare and National Decay: By William McDougall, Professor of Psychology in Harvard University. (Methuen & Co., London. 1921. Pp. 214. Price 6s.).. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:403-406.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:403-406

National Welfare and National Decay: By William McDougall, Professor of Psychology in Harvard University. (Methuen & Co., London. 1921. Pp. 214. Price 6s.).

Review by:
E. J.

Dr. McDougall is also among the prophets. In this volume he expresses certain alarming conclusions he has come to as the result of his studies, and issues a stirring appeal for immediate action if national disasters on a wide scale are to be prevented.

The main problem with which the book is concerned is the reason for the regularly recurring decline of high civilisations. The author deals only very slightly with the equally interesting question of the rise of such civilisations. He describes the typical course as being that of a parabola and thinks that several Western and Northern nations, more especially England, have passed their climax and are about to enter on a phase of rapid declension. The reason he gives for this prediction is that 'Our civilization, by reason of its increasing complexity, is making constantly increasing demands upon the qualities of its bearers; the qualities of those bearers are diminishing or deteriorating, rather than improving' (p. 170).

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