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).


Rome, June, 1895.


[87] This appendix is a copy of a letter addressed by M. Ferri to an Italian newspaper which had printed a letter addressed by Herbert Spencer to M. Fiorentino.

[88] Wallace has advanced beyond this “half way house,” and now calls himself a Socialist.—­Tr.



Among the numerous publications which, for or against socialism, have appeared in Italy since my Socialismo e scienza positiva[90]—­which demonstrated the agreement of socialism with the fundamental lines of contemporary scientific thought—­the book of Baron Garofalo was looked forward to with eager interest.  It received attention both because of the fame of the author and the open and radical disagreement which its publication made manifest in the ranks of the founders of the school of positive criminology, formerly united in such close bonds in the propaganda and defense of the new science—­criminal anthropology and sociology—­created by M. Lombroso.

It is true that the scientific union between the founders of the new Italian school of criminology formed an alliance, but they were never in perfect unison.

M. Lombroso gave to the study of crime as a natural and social phenomenon the initial impulse, and brilliantly supported the correctness of this conception by his fruitful anthropological and biological investigations.  I contributed the systematic, theoretical treatment of the problem of human responsibility, and my psychological and sociological studies enabled me to classify the natural causes of crime and the anthropological categories of criminals.  I showed the predominant role of social prevention—­quite a different thing from police prevention—­of criminality, and demonstrated the infinitesimal influence of repression, which is always violent and only acts after the mischief has been done.

M. Garofalo—­though he was in accord with us on the subject of the diagnosis of criminal pathology—­contributed nevertheless a current of ideas peculiar to himself, ideas more metaphysical and less heterodox; such, for instance, as the idea that the anomaly shown by the criminal is only a “moral anomaly;” that religion has a preventive influence on criminality; that severe repression is, at all events, the effective remedy; that misery (poverty) it not only not the sole and exclusive factor in producing crime (which I always maintained and still maintain), but that it has no determining influence on crime; and that popular education, instead of being a preventive means, is, on the contrary, an incentive, etc.

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