Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx).

[8] M. Zerboglio has very justly pointed out that individualism acting without the pressure of external sanction and by the simple internal impulse toward good (rightness)—­this is the distant ideal of Herbert Spencer—­can be realized only after a phase of collectivism, during which the individual activity and instincts can be disciplined into social solidarity and weaned from the essentially anarchist individualism of our times when every one, if he is clever enough to “slip through the meshes of the penal code” can do what he pleases without any regard to his fellows.

[9] “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,” is the way Robert Browning expresses this in “Andrea Del Sarto.”—­Translator.

[10] Note our common expression:  He is worth so much.—­Tr.

[11]

       “Full many a gem of purest ray serene
       The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear: 
     Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
       And waste its fragrance on the desert air.

     “Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
       The little tyrant of his field withstood,
     Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
       Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country’s blood.” 
   —­Stanzas from GRAY’S “Elegy in a Country Church-yard.”  Translator.

[12]

“Cursed be the gold that gilds the straighten’d forehead of
the fool!”
—­Tennyson, in “Locksley Hall.”

“Gold, yellow, glittering, precious gold! 
Thus, much of this will make black, white; foul, fair;
Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward, valiant.” 

        —­Shakespeare, in “Timon of Athens.”—­Translator.

III.

THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE AND ITS VICTIMS.

Socialism and Darwinism, it is said, are in conflict on a second point.  Darwinism demonstrates that the immense majority—­of plants, animals and men—­are destined to succumb, because only a small minority triumphs “in the struggle for life”; socialism, on its part, asserts that all ought to triumph and that no one ought to succumb.

It may be replied, in the first place, that, even in the biological domain of the “struggle for existence,” the disproportion between the number of individuals who are born and the number of those who survive regularly and progressively grows smaller and smaller as we ascend in the biological scale from vegetables to animals, and from animals to Man.

This law of a decreasing disproportion between the “called” and the “chosen” is supported by the facts even if we limit our observation to the various species belonging to the same natural order.  The higher and more complex the organization, the smaller the disproportion.

In fact, in the vegetables, each individual produces every year an infinite number of seeds, and an infinitesimal number of these survive.  In the animals, the number of young of each individual diminishes and the number of those who survive continues on the contrary, to increase.  Finally, for the human species, the number of individuals that each one can beget is very small and most of them survive.

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Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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