This section is from the book "Principles Of Sociology With Educational Applications", by Frederick R. Clow. Also available from Amazon: Principles of sociology with educational applications.
With respect to social classes we have first of all the aims of each class for its own advancement; intelligent foresight on the part of the members can do much to promote wholesome living among themselves. Social telesis in the interest of all classes, such as the statesman and the educator must exercise, watches the direction in which natural selection is going so as to allow for it in adjusting the relations between the classes. It is especially important that the classes be kept open so that each individual may be free to move from one class to another according to his special aptitude. Society then realizes on the natural endowments that are latent in the population, and incidentally forestalls discontent. One of the most efficient agencies in accomplishing this is a universal system of public schools which prepare for all vocations at nominal cost to each pupil.
Each class gathers a set of ideas peculiar to itself - customs, phrases, principles, rules. It is especially necessary to have principles defining the relations with other classes. Justice between two classes is merely the adjustment of relations between them on principles to which both agree. It does not make so much difference what the principles are, as that they shall be fixed and impartially administered; strife comes from disagreements that are not covered by settled principles. The principles usually settle themselves in time through the course of events; in other words, they are settled by natural selection. Some one has said that a war never settles anything, which means, doubtless, that war comes from the attempt of the advocates of the waning principle to save themselves; some social class finds itself losing ground in the conflicts of peace, and hopes to succeed better by violent means. In the end, historians are able to show that the war was virtually decided before it began, in that power had insensibly passed from one social class to another, or one nation to another; all the war did was to make the change evident; the result would have been much the same in time had there been no war. "The mills of the gods grind slowly," says an old proverb,"but they grind exceeding fine." Natural selection does its work quietly, but none the less surely. Its irresistible march would be terrifying were it not so slow that the outcome remains unnoticed until it actually arrives. "After us the deluge," said the members of the ruling caste in France before the Revolution, and then instead of reforming their financial system they borrowed more money for frivolities. "Not in our generation," is the answer which the ruling classes to-day make to the warnings of economists and sociologists. When the leaders of class opinion are wise they foresee the impending change and employ telic action to prepare for it before it comes.