Mr. Lothrop Stoddard’s “The Rising Tide of Color,” following so closely the Great War, may appear to some unduly alarming, while others, as his thread of argument unrolls, may recoil at the logic of his deductions.
In our present era of convulsive changes, a prophet must be bold, indeed, to predict anything more definite than a mere trend in events, but the study of the past is the one safe guide in forecasting the future.
Mr. Stoddard takes up the white man’s world and its potential enemies as they are to-day. A consideration of their early relations and of the history of the Nordic race, since its first appearance three or four thousand years ago, tends strongly to sustain and justify his conclusions. For such a consideration we must first turn to the map, or, better, to the globe.
Viewed in the light of geography and zoology, Europe west of Russia is but a peninsula of Asia with the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea included. True Africa, or rather Ethiopia, lies south of the Sahara Desert and has virtually no connection with the North except along the valley of the Nile.
This Eurasiatic continent has been, perhaps, since the origin of life itself, the most active centre of evolution and radiation of the higher forms.
Confining ourselves to the mammalian orders, we find that a majority of them have originated and developed there and have spread thence to the outlying land areas of the globe. All the evidence points to the origin of the Primates in Eurasia and we have every reason to believe that this continent was also the scene of the early evolution of man from his anthropoid ancestors.
The impulse that inaugurated the development of mankind seems to have had its basic cause in the stress of changing climatic conditions in central Asia at the close of the Pliocene, and the human inhabitants of Eurasia have ever since exhibited in a superlative degree the energy developed at that time. This energy, however, has not been equally shared by the various species of man, either extinct or living, and the survivors of the earlier races are, for the most part, to be found on the other continents and islands or in the extreme outlying regions of Eurasia itself.
In other words those groups of mankind which at an early period found refuge in the Americas, in Australia, in Ethiopia, or in the islands of the sea, represent to a large extent stages in man’s physical and cultural development, from which the more energized inhabitants of Eurasia have long since emerged. In some cases, as in Mexico and Peru, the outlying races developed in their isolation a limited culture of their own, but, for the most part, they have exhibited, and continue to this day to exhibit, a lack of capacity for sustained evolution from within as well as a lack of capacity to adjust themselves of their own initiative to the rapid changes which modern times impose upon them from without.
In Eurasia itself this same inequality of potential capacity is found, but in a lesser degree, and consequently, in the progress of humanity, there has been constant friction between those who push forward and those who are unable to keep pace with changing conditions.
Owing to these causes the history of mankind has been that of a series of impulses from the Eurasiatic continent upon the outlying regions of the globe, but there has been an almost complete lack of reaction, either racial or cultural, from them upon the masses of mankind in Eurasia itself. There have been endless conflicts between the different sections of Eurasia, but neither Amerinds, nor Austroloids, nor Negroes, have ever made a concerted attack upon the great continent.