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September 30, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(14):865. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450660055007

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The observation that would-be leaders of men are not infrequently representatives of degenerate and unsound types of mind, is by no means novel. History, modern and ancient, furnishes an overabundance of illustrations of this tendency of the mentally deficient to attempt to dominate the sober but less active minds of the toiling classes. Those of the degenerate type hold atavistic views and wish society to be recognized on the basis of the primordial communal system when the community held all things in common, including wives, and when individual property, with its incentive to the energetic, was not permitted. It may be noted as a historic fact that civilization consisted largely in the emergence of society from this chrysalis stage. The otherwise unsound type of leader may be known by his advocacy of dreamy, supposed reforms, and his expressed desire to tear down every institution of modern social organization. No one

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