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On the Question, Is Might Right? (S601: 1903)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Wallace's short contributions to a feature entitled "Our Sphinx's Fatal Question: Why Do the Ungodly Prosper? Is Might Right? Can the Poor Be Saved Through the Pity of the Rich?" Printed on page 69 of issue no. 18 (February? 1903) of The Eagle and the Serpent. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S601.htm

     . . . With reference to question No. 2, do you think the results of the Boer, Philippine, and China wars lend plausibility to the teaching that Might is Right?

     Dr. A. R. Wallace writes: "Because the rule of Might has hitherto prevailed it does not follow that it must always prevail." Do you agree with Dr. Wallace that the rule of Might has hitherto prevailed?

[[other replies given]]

     Dr. A. R. Wallace writes: Thanks for sending me your last Eagle and Serpent. Its perusal was refreshing. You are mistaken in supposing that I admit that "might was right" at any time. That it was held to be "right" by those who had the "might" may be true--and also sometimes by the weak who submitted to them--proves nothing whatever. The two words "might" and "right" have nothing in common. They belong to different categories, and you might as reasonably say that sympathy is blue, virtue green, and cruelty red and yellow, as that might is right.

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