Aristocracy and Evolution: A Study of the Rights, the Origin, and the Social Functions of the Wealthier Classes

Aristocracy and Evolution: A Study of the Rights, the Origin, and the Social Functions of the Wealthier Classes

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Aristocracy and Evolution: A Study of the Rights, the Origin, and the Social Functions of the Wealthier Classes

Aristocracy and Evolution: A Study of the Rights, the Origin, and the Social Functions of the Wealthier Classes

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The word aristocracy as used in the title of this volume has no exclusive, and indeed no special, reference to a class distinguished by hereditary political privileges, by titles, or by heraldic pedigree. It here means the exceptionally gifted and efficient minority, no matter what the position in which its members may have been born, or what the sphere of social progress in which their exceptional efficiency shows itself. I have chosen the word aristocracy in preference to the word oligarchy because it means not only the rule of the few, but of the best or the most efficient of the few.

Of the various questions involved in the general argument of the work, many would, if they were to be examined exhaustively, demand entire treatises to themselves rather than chapters. This is specially true of such questions as the nature of men's congenital inequalities, the effects of different classes of motive in producing different classes of action, and the effects of equal education on unequal talents and temperaments. But the practical bearings of an argument are more readily grasped . . .

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