II.—In the life of mankind, as in that of plants and animals, the immense majority of those who are born are destined to perish, because only a small minority can triumph in the “struggle for existence”; socialism asserts, on the contrary, that all ought to triumph in this struggle, and that no one is inexorably destined to be conquered.
III.—The struggle for existence assures “the survival of the best, the victory of the fittest,” and this results in an aristocratic hierarchic gradation of selected individuals—a continuous progress—instead of the democratic, collectivist leveling of socialism.
 Les preuves du transformisme.—Paris, 1879, page 110 et seq.
THE EQUALITY OF INDIVIDUALS.
The first of the objections, which is brought against socialism in the name of Darwinism, is absolutely without foundation.
If it were true that socialism aspires to “the equality of all individuals,” it would be correct to assert that Darwinism irrevocably condemns it.
But although even to-day it is still currently repeated—by some in good faith, like parrots who recite their stereotyped phrases; by others in bad faith, with polemical skillfulness—that socialism is synonymous with equality and leveling; the truth is, on the contrary, that scientific socialism—the socialism which draws its inspiration from the theory of Marx, and which alone to-day is worthy of support or opposition,—has never denied the inequality of individuals, as of all living beings—inequality innate and acquired, physical and intellectual.
It is just as if one should say that socialism asserts that a royal decree or a popular vote could settle it that “henceforth all men shall be five feet seven inches tall.”
But in truth, socialism is something more serious and more difficult to refute.
Socialism says: Men are unequal, but they are all (of them) men.
And, in fact, although each individual is born and develops in a fashion more or less different from that of all other individuals,—just as there are not in a forest two leaves identically alike, so in the whole world there are not two men in all respects equals, the one of the other,—nevertheless every man, simply because he is a human being, has a right to the existence of a man, and not of a slave or a beast of burden.
We know, we as well as our opponents, that all men cannot perform the same kind and amount of labor—now, when social inequalities are added to equalities of natural origin—and that they will still be unable to do it under a socialist regime—when the social organization will tend to reduce the effect of congenital inequalities.
There will always be some people whose brains or muscular systems will be better adapted for scientific work or for artistic work, while others will be more fit for manual labor, or for work requiring mechanical precision, etc.