Our government gets its ethical eyes, ears, tongue, and opinions from doctors (medical dogma). Only a few months ago I saw a confidential letter from the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the Department of Commerce at Washington. The letter was for the use of the morning papers of Monday, March 19, 1917, and for the benefit of proprietary-medicine men, calling their attention to the rich field that China now offers for education in the patent medicine line. That country must have dropped back rapidly; for not long ago--twenty- five years ago--all our cities had skilled Chinese doctors. Is it possible that the medicine men of this country have run away from Drs. Sam Lang, Hooch Cooch, Ham Fat, and Wun Lung in so short a time?

That the readers may know with what zeal Washington is endeavoring to enlighten and benevolently assimilate the Heathen Chinese medically, I quote the last two paragraphs of the confidential letter:

"Through judicious and persistent advertising, the natives are gradually being educated to the necessity of paying some intelligent attention to their ailments, and are responding remarkably well. For this reason it is not difficult to introduce a good article (proprietary drug) at a reasonable price, if supported by the right kind of advertising.

The Bureau's report is devoted chiefly to sales methods and advertising, and the material presented on these subjects is new and important. Copies of the bulletin, which is entitled "Proprietary Medicine and Ointment Trade in China," Special Consular Report No. 76, may be purchased for five cents from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, or from any district office of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. It contains twelve pages."

If, as prophesied by wiseacres, China is to be the future hope of republicanism, civilization, and the highest enlightenment, and if she is to pattern after the republicanism of today, it will be a case of "Hope long deferred maketh the heart sick." When in our imagination we see the present four hundred million Chinese, and the billions of their progeny that must follow before they can arrive at the stage of adopting even our medical and ethical superstitions; and then when we think of how long it will take the Chinese republic to give up the joy of forcing every other country to bow to it commercially before its ethics is evolved to the point of adopting the principle that in building others we build ourselves, hope is certainly deferred to such an eternity of waiting that it might as well die; for the realization is not for us nor our posterity.

It is not reasonable to believe that a people will escape the superstitions of the country from which they derive their inspiration. Obviously, then, the immediate future offers little hope for the retirement of disease--building beliefs and customs.

It is true that drugs have gone out of favor very rapidly in the last fifteen years, but the fundamentals on which health rests have not changed to more rational principles. Indeed, the medical mind has laid hold of bacteriology, which is a much more elusive delusion than any, if not all, of the profession's previous theories concerning etiology. With a new theory of causation, real cause, which should be largely intuitive--planted in the consciousness of man by the law of self-protection--is no longer of any use. Literally translated, the new law of cause and cure reads: Man may do as he likes; his acts count for nothing; if he is ill, a microscopic germ has attacked him, and the cure must be accomplished by a wise use of the cause. According to this theory, cause of disease is specific and entitative, and the cure and prevention must be specific and entitative. This being logically true, there is no excuse for the failure to cure disease, as is only too evident on every hand.

Modern medical science declares that disease is caused by a specific entity. If this declaration were true, therapeutics should be specific, and so certain that there would be no chance for disease to get a foothold. Certainly quacks and empiricists would have so little success, compared with established medicine, that no laws would be required to keep them from selling their inefficiency to an innocent and confiding public.

The germ theory is just one other false promise of vicarious atonement--a promise of immunization from the effects of broken law. If the offender will believe, and have a priest of the faith vaccinate or inject the immunizing agent (Savior) into his blood, he will be cured of all his sins.

With this superstition ingrafted on church and state, and even accepted by liberals, or those who pride themselves on having evolved out of superstition, what possible chance has a rational scheme of cause and effect--a rational interpretation of health--a real Philosophy of Health?

Before the nutrition of man's body can be advanced to a stable type--before man can build a state of health that will be dependable and allow him to develop his full efficiency--superstitions of all kinds must give way to truth. This is the truth that will make man free. When will it come? When!

Meanwhile we shall be busy with our pick and shovel, doing what we can toward leveling this mountain of error that stands between man and his health and normal development.

Probably apologies are due for such a lengthy digression from disturbances of nutrition. But is it possible to digress from the subject of nutrition when showing up fallacy? It is to be hoped, however, that this digression will be found potentially laden with enough side illumination on subjects the bearing of which on health is not well understood, to justify the liberty--or perhaps I should say outlawry committed against the writer's art.

To resume the subject of diathesis: It appears reasonable that a continual increase or decrease of physiological functioning must modify structure to correspond; and when structure is changed from the effects of use--continual functioning--then it is transmissible, and not before.