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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 177 pages of information about Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx).

[29] The dominant factor, nevertheless, in religious beliefs, is the hereditary or traditional sentimental factor; this it is which always renders them respectable when they are professed in good faith, and often makes them even appeal to our sympathies,—­and this is precisely because of the ingenuous or refined sensibility of the persons in whom religious faith is the most vital and sincere.

[30] NITTI, Le Socialisme catholique, Paris, 1894, p. 27 and 393.

[31] Its usual form in America.—­Translator.

[32] Nuova Rassegna, August, 1894.

[33] SERGI, L’origine dei fenomeni psichici e loro significazione biologica, Milan, 1885, p. 334, et seq.

[34] DURKHEIM, De la division du travail social.  Paris. 1893.  As regards the pretended influence of religion on personal morality I have shown how very slight a foundation there was for this opinion in my studies on criminal psychology, and more particularly in Omicidio nell’ antropologia criminale.



It can also be shown that scientific socialism proceeds directly from Darwinism by an examination of the different modes of conceiving of the individual in relation to the species.

The eighteenth century closed with the exclusive glorification of the individual, of the man—­as an entity in himself.  In the works of Rousseau this was only a beneficent, though exaggerated re-action against the political and sacerdotal tyranny of the Middle Ages.

This individualism led directly to that artificiality in politics, which I will consider a little further on in studying the relations between the theory of evolution and socialism, and which is common to the ruling classes under the bourgeois regime and to the individualistic anarchists,—­since both alike imagine that the social organization can be changed in a day by the magical effect of a bomb,—­more or less murderous.

Modern biology has radically changed this conception of the individual and it has demonstrated, in the domain of biology as in that of sociology, that the individual is himself only an aggregation of more simple living elements, and likewise that the individual in himself, the Selbstwesen of the Germans, does not exist in independent isolation, but only as a member of a society (Gliedwesen).

Every living object is an association, a collectivity.

The monad itself, the living cell, the irreducible expression of biological individuality, is also an aggregate of various parts (nucleus, nucleole, protoplasm), and each one of them in its turn is an aggregate of molecules which are aggregates of atoms.

The atom does not exist alone, as an individual; the atom is invisible and impalpable and it does not live.

And the complexity of the aggregation, the federation of the parts constantly increases with the ascent in the zoological series from protozoa to Man.

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