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).

But when the politico-social question is entered upon, the new science of sociology is overpowered by a sort of hypnotic sleep and remains suspended in a sterile, colorless limbo, thus permitting sociologists to be in public economy, as in politics, conservatives or radicals, in accordance with their respective whims or subjective tendencies.

And while Darwinian biology, by the scientific determination of the relations between the individual and the species, and evolutionist sociology itself by describing in human society the organs and the functions of a new organism, was making the individual a cell in the animal organism, Herbert Spencer was loudly proclaiming his English individualism extending to the most absolute theoretical anarchism.

A period of stagnation was inevitable in the scientific productive activity of sociology, after the first original observations in descriptive social anatomy and in the natural history of human societies.  Sociology represented thus a sort of arrested development in experimental scientific thought, because those who cultivated it, wittingly or unwittingly, recoiled before the logical and radical conclusions that the modern scientific revolution was destined to establish in the social domain—­the most important domain of all if science was to become the handmaid of life, instead of contenting itself with that barren formula, science for the sake of science.

The secret of this strange phenomenon consists not only in the fact that, as Malagodi said,[77] sociology is still in the period of scientific analysis and not yet in that of synthesis, but especially in the fact that the logical consequences of Darwinism and of scientific evolutionism applied to the study of human society lead inexorably to socialism, as I have demonstrated in the foregoing pages.


[77] MALAGODI, Il Socialismo e la scienza.  In Critica Sociale, Aug. 1, 1892.



To Karl Marx is due the honor of having scientifically formulated these logical applications of experiential science to the domain of social economy.  Beyond doubt, the exposition of these truths is surrounded, in his writings, with a multitude of technical details and of apparently dogmatic formulae, but may not the same be said of the FIRST PRINCIPLES of Spencer, and are not the luminous passages on evolution in it surrounded with a dense fog of abstractions on time, space, the unknowable, etc.?  Until these last few years a vain effort was made to consign, by a conspiracy of silence, the masterly work of Marx to oblivion, but now his name is coming to rank with those of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer as the three Titans of the scientific revolution which begot the intellectual renaissance and gave fresh potency to the civilizing thought of the latter half of the nineteenth century.

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