Source: National Magazine
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “New Dawns of Knowledge”
Author(s): Lane, Michael A.
Date of publication: July 1904
Volume number: 20
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 416-22 (excerpt below includes only pages 419-20)
|Lane, Michael A. “New Dawns of Knowledge.” National Magazine July 1904 v20n4: pp. 416-22.|
This article (excerpted below) constitutes the third installment of the author’s serialized article, “New Dawns of Knowledge.” This installment is individually titled “Man: Individual and Race.”
From page 416: By Michael A. Lane, Author of “The Level of Social Motion.”
New Dawns of Knowledge [excerpt]
The new science of criminal anthropology has done much to disclose the cause of criminal disposition in men, but it has no suggestions to make as to the prevention or punishment of crime. It can only classify the facts it observes. Suggestions from expert criminologists are of no more value than suggestions from any other kind of men. The criminologist can tell us (and small comfort it is so to be told) that the professional thief is born and not made, and that thief he will remain by nature his whole life long. The criminologist can  tell us that it is impossible to “reform” the criminal’s character without reforming his brain. The counterfeiter who has spent forty years in prison and is returned thither at the age of seventy-three does not argue much hope for the reform of criminals. But what is to be done with him? How is it possible to prevent a typically primitive, reversive man such as the late Czolgosz, from using political methods which were quite common and natural with the savage ancestor of whom he was a type born out of time? Czolgosz did not slay because he was an anarchist. He slew because he was a primitive man. He was not an habitual criminal, and it was possible that he might have never acquitted himself in an extraordinary manner had not his environment, joined with his reversive brain, set up the association of ideas and the consequent chain of circumstances that culminated in his amazing deed. The normal man is stupified [sic] by the conduct of Czolgosz and his kind; nor can the normal man understand the conscienceless burglar or highwayman who slays to rob. If these things are to be remedied, it is not anthropology that can tell us how.