Science: Consider the Termite

On Winston Churchill's recent visit to Manhattan he made a foray into politico-entomology. Said he: "Our Communist friends should study . . . the life and the soul of the white ant. That will show them not only a great deal about their past but will give them a fair indication of their future."

Apparently Churchill meant to hold up termites (white ants) as horrible examples of socialism. A termite colony has an amazing unity, which science has not explained. Individually, its members are weak and stupid. Collectively the colony is strong, and in a sense intelligent.

The consensus of entomologists is that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!