11 SEPTEMBER 1920, Page 16


THE RISING TIDE OF COLOUR.* [FIrsT NOTICE.] MANY people will regard this book as highly dangerous and provocative. This verdict, though it might at first sight seem just, would be, we are convinced, short-sighted and unfair. When we say this we do not mean that we agree with every word of the premises put forward by M. Stoddard or with all his conclusions ; for we do not. What we do feel, however, is that it is a book which gives with vigour, and yet with essential moderation, most important and often most necessary warnings. Its plain, nay vehement, speaking is always sincere. In many cases it is amply justified. No man who is not a fool resents the warnings of a watch-dog. Those warnings are useful even if the dog is making too much noise over an approaching stranger or mistaking a mere tramp for an armed burglar. The dog's business is not to be the final judge of the intentions of the passer-by or visitor, but to tell the inmates of the house that there is somebody about, that he may be a dangerous character, and they had better attend to the matter and judge for them- selves before it is too late. Of course a good watch-dog should not bark at a family friend or the postman or at some obviously ir nocent and commonplace event. Still it is very much better to have too much warning than too little. Mr. Stoddard is one of the watch-dogs of white civilization, and we are grateful to him for performing his function so thoroughly. Even if he is more anxious and more pessimistic about the yellow man, the brown man and the black man, whom he sees advancing up the various approaches to the white man's house than he need

be, he is doing good service.

Unquestionably the situation in which the white world is placed at the present moment is one full of anxiety, and may become a very great peril unless we understand it fully and treat it seriously. To use that dangerous thing, a metaphor, the tido of colour is undoubtedly rising, and we have got to do one of three things. We can say, " We welcome the rising tide and are perfectly willing to let it flow over us or round us and shall enjoy the immersion." We can try to move out of its reach. Finally, we can counter-attack and build dykes and barriers against its advance.

Mr. Stoddard, who is historically well equipped for his dis-

cussion, gives us a very striking summary of the white man's problem, and especially of that part which concerns the Nordic race, the race to which belongs the potent and inspiring element of the population of the United Kingdom, of the American Union, of Northern France and of a portion, though only a small portion, of the German Empire. The German language is of course Nordic, and so is a certain amount of the German culture, but the dominant part of the population, as of the culture, is not of Nordic origin or Nordic in spirit. Denmark, and the Scandinavian Peninsula are also, of course, largely Nordic, but the population of the rest of Europe is ethnologically Alpine and Mediterranean. This distinction is not in any way con- demnatory of the Alpine and Mediterranean elements in the white race, but undoubtedly the elements which will best lead in the resistance to the rising tide of colour are supplied by the Nordic races of Europe. For present purposes Europe, of course, includes Europe overseas,—i.e., the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and British South Africa, the Argentine and Chile. It seems at first strange to leave out so much of Spanish and Portuguese South America, but there the true white population is so small, that one cannot bring the whole of that vast continent into account without perplexing the problem. Though the Argentine has a • The Rising Tide of Color against Whits World-Supremacy. By Lothrop Stoddard. London : Chapman and Hall. 112s. Od. rota

large and growing. proportion of white men, in Mexico, Brazil and in the northern and tropical portions of the continent there is a vast preponderance of indigenous Indian blood joined with that of the imported negroes.

The most striking feature of Mr. Stoddard's book is his insist- ence upon three things—first, on how nearly the white, or at any rate the Nordic, race, the race with the power of efficient resist- ance to the coloured invasion, was only 500 years ago nearly overwhelmed and driven into the sea. Considerably after the middle of, the fifteenth century, the tide of coloured invasion in Europe was rising higher and higher, and it seemed as if there could be only one end. In 1453 the Turks took Constantinople and obliterated the last vestige of the Byzantine Empire. The great Russian plain was under the influence of Tartar invaders ; half Spain was still in the hands of the Moors. The brown man dominated the coasts of the Meiiterranean ; and though in reality the tide had already reached its highest point, it looked as if the bulk of the white race was doomed. Even England and Scandinavia might be pushed off their cliffs into the sea.

But this thrust towards the sea, though it looked like the end for the white men of the Nordic race, led in reality to the defeat of the coloured invaders. The salvation of the white man came by way of the sea. He took to the water, and in doing so dis- covered new lands. He peopled them with his own virile and adventurous stock, and in the truest sense of the phrase called a new world into existence to redress the balance of the old. But for the discoveries and activities of first the Spaniards and the Portuguese, and then of the English and the Dutch, we should have been harried to death by the Turks, the Moors, and the Tartars. We should have been fighting a hopeless battle with our backs to the sea. Instead our ancestors gave their sails to the tempest and opened for themselves and for us a flank that could not be turned by our enemies. The blue water became their Labarum. In that sign they conquered and will conquer.

In the seventy years which elapsed from the taking of Con- stantinople to the year 1520, the whole face of the world was changed. The Turkish Empire instead of advancing was begin- ning to shrink. Everywhere the Crescent was giving way to the Cross. In Spain new Christian provinces were emerging. In America were being laid the foundations of those great States which perhaps fifty years from hence will contain the bulk of the white population of the world. This resistance of the white man to the rising tide of colour went on with increased strength for 400 years. During these four hundred years the white popula- tion of the world not only increased vastly in number and pro- portion, but the political power of the white races was extended throughout the globe. When the Great War came owing to the aggressive treason of Germany, the white races either peopled or controlled the whole of the habitable parts of the world except China and Japan. No doubt in the greater part of this vast area there were not white settlements, but only white political control. Nevertheless, it seemed as if nothing would ever shake the power of the white man.

How changed is the prospect! Mr. Stoddard points out, and we believe truly, that we are now faced, in our hour of weakness, with a rising tide of colour, with a definite move- ment half conscious and half instinctive against the white world- supremacy. Thatis the thesis of the book before us. The yellow, the brown, the black and the red races, chiefly because of the good government and security afforded by white control, have of late years vastly increased in numbers, in riches and in intelli- gence. Their relative progress since 1820 has been greater than ours. Now, while we are still panting from the strain of the Great War, the coloured races are not merely threatening white rule and demanding self-determination, but are dreaming of, nay planning, the domination of areas now con- trolled and peopled by the white man. To make good this con- tention Mr. Stoddard shows that the coloured races are increasing much more rapidly than the whites ; that all the coloured peoples entertain a dislike of white supremacy and will co-operate in an effort to get rid of that supremacy. This impulse is, in many cases, no doubt due to hatred of the whites. In others it is due to that pressure of population which so often in history has set loose the blind forces of racial animosity. " Thou shalt want e'er I want," is a cry sounding always in the ears of the hungry tribes.

Mr. Stoddard's book is too full of matter to bear compression. All we can do is to sketch its general outline. We must, how ever, warn our readers that they must not suppOSO 'it jingo

work, a slogan of white supremacy, or again a thing of scare headlines such as the German Emperor used to employ when he talked about the Yellow Peril. Mr. Stoddard does not make any attempt to raise prejudice against the coloured races, though he is very strongly convinced that the white man and the coloured man cannot live together without all the best elements of the white race being destroyed. The lower physical, social, and political standards of the coloured races in a mixed com- munity inevitably bring the white man down to the coloured man's level, and they do it in a curious way, or what seems a curious way till the matter is closely considered. The presence of the coloured races sterilizes the white races. In mixed com- munities progress in numbers belongs almost wholly to the coloured man. Only in unmixed communities does the white man breathe freely, do his best work, and improve the standard of living, thinking, and working.