The state of the social mind with reference to a question which was settled long ago is more fundamental than what is ordinarily known as public opinion. It is rather a "latent prepossession," or a popular sentiment. It exists in the subconscious mind rather than in consciousness, but is none the less real. Take for instance the question whether a city should have a high school supported at public expense. That question was discussed to a finish in this country over half a century ago. The social mind is made up on that point and no longer gives any attention to it. But if anyone is rash enough to challenge it, say by proposing to cut down appropriations for the high school, while good arguments in reply may not be forthcoming at once, popular sentiment in opposition will flare up suddenly with menacing power. Politicians, editors, clergymen, salesmen, school principals, and others whose vocation requires them to meet many people, need to know what these prepossessions are and avoid running against them.

The questions which cannot be settled by discussion involve attitudes of the social mind that are still more fundamental. There are, first, the questions in which the interests of sections, classes, and sects are opposed. While slavery existed, the interests of slave-owners made them opposed to emancipation, even though many of these owners admitted that slavery was an evil. When Pennsylvania became a manufacturing state it wanted protective tariff to make better prices for its products; the cotton-growing South marketed its products mostly in foreign countries and from them bought its supplies which, of course, it wished to have taxed as lightly as possible; while New England was commercial it was free-trade, but when it turned to manufacturing it became protectionist. Need we wonder that the tariff controversy is never settled? Public school teachers always think that their wages should be raised, and most of their friends agree with them; but the officers of the city's finance department, with the protests of the taxpayers in their ears, stand opposed. The Catholic and the secular views of education are simply irreconcilable. All of these are questions which can never be talked to a finish. Any true public opinion regarding them can be found only among a neutral public, and that opinion is likely to be that such questions should as far as possible be kept out of politics, so that their discussion in public may be avoided. The interests of section, class, and sect are permanent phases of the social mind which can be changed only by changing the conditions at their roots.

. . . Why is political discussion forbidden in certain clubs? Because it results in a clash of feeling rather than of cold intellect, and it can run to any height of passion without nearing a decisive test on fact. - Keller, Societal Evolution, p. 135.

Declaring that to be a male school teacher was "the crowning misfortune of the present dispensation," some 400 male school teachers decided at a dinner held . . . last night to fight for economic survival through direct political action.

The teachers applauded appeals to them to seek to influence elections and control votes. They cheered when the toastmaster said the number of votes they could control would approximate 20,000.

As a definite policy of aggression, it was agreed that all men teachers in the city should be appealed to to fight for recognition of the Association of Men Teachers and Principals, such as is now given by employers' associations to trades unions in closed shops. . . .

"We are not automatons who merely respond in a mechanical way to orders from above. . . . Our association should be recognized by the Board of Education. A voice in the board is none too good for us. We are teachers and we can teach others how to vote. We get paid only 70 cents on the dollar for the work we do. . . ." - The New York Times, January 12, 1913.