In the body of an animal some of the citizen cells are bred up for the sole purpose of sacrificing them for the good of the whole. All those which form the skin, hair, nails, etc., are deliberately shed in the process of protecting us. The leucocytes sacrifice themselves by the billions in time of infection, which is a real war of invasion. A similar evolution is already underway in human society - few of its units are able to do this duty and few are required - a vast change from the state where every male adult was a soldier.
Hence, the question arises whether we all really have equal rights to life itself. In the past we have seen that might always made right in that regard, and those unable to defend themselves were losers. At present survival of all is almost guaranteed as the best way of self-preservation. Yet how can all survive in chronic overpopulation, and which types must be allowed to perish? Some must die that the rest may live. That is, life itself is not personal property as it once was when each man kept it by his own efforts, but it now belongs to society which preserves it for us. It is a dreadful thought that we have long lost the right to live, yet it is so. Life is loaned to us, and the guarantee of survival is conditioned by the occasional necessity of withdrawing the loan. In time of danger, men are drafted into the army, and if caught deserting they are unhesitatingly executed.
The work of Percival Lowell leaves but little doubt that the inhabitants of Mars have already reached the stage of a world nation.* They have girdled the planet with canals which are so big that they serve no doubt for both irrigation and transport, and the population must be very numerous, with cities of enormous extent. Wars have ceased, as they will in time on earth, but not until we are all welded together. Martians, individually, may be very limited in intelligence - specialists each knowing his own part well - but the sum total of the knowledge must be enormous. The cm-rent conception that all the Martians must be possessed of huge brains is not necessarily true at all, for it is not natural and it is not the ultimate end of the evolution of society. Civilization is the orchestration of specialists there as well as here. Indeed, the Martians may be as far from manlike as we can well conceive.
* Mars and its Canals." Macmillan.
The tremendous foreign missionary movement which has so signally failed to establish Christianity among lower races not intelligent enough to understand it, is undoubtedly accomplishing wonders in the way of building a foundation for the future consolidation of all men in one vast world nation. In this sense the missions are the expression of natural law, and perhaps deserve our financial support as instruments in the evolution of human society.