Todo este blog está bajo la licencia creative commons. Este blog pertenece a

viernes, 2 de octubre de 2009

Socialismo y la ciencia positiva



The Socialist Library. L







DIRECTOR OF THE Scuola Positiva :


From the French Edition of 1896







FIRST ............... April 1905

SECOND ............... Sept. 1905

THIRD ............... Nov. 1905

FOURTH... ............ Nov. 1906

FIFTH ............... Feb. 1909











OF MUNICH ------ i






STRUGGLE" ------ 62










; XIV. MARX, DARWIN, SPENCER, &c. - - - 140






Socialismo e Scienza Positiva was published in Rome in 1894, and in the following year was translated into French (from which this translation is made), German and Spanish. In 1901 it was published in English in America.

After having been an adverse critic of the unscientific Utopian socialism which preceded Marx, Ferri yielded in 1893 to Marx's influence, identified himself with the socialists in the Italian Chamber of which he had been a radical member since 1886, and began to write Socialismo e Scienza Positiva.

In his recently published book on Democracy and Reaction, Mr. Hobhouse points out h6w
the conservative and aristocratic interests in Europe have armed themselves for defensive and offensive purposes with the law of the struggle for existence, and its corollary, the survival of the fittest. Ferri's aim in this volume has been to show that Darwinism is not only not in intellectual opposition to socialism, but is its scientific foundation.

In developing his argument, he brings his
new faith into organic touch with the studies
in criminology, especially social criminology,
upon which he had written a great work in
1880, a portion of which has been published
in the Criminology Series, edited by Dr.
Douglas Mojrison. No part of this present
study is more suggestive than the frequent
discussions which it contains upon the social

nature of crime, its connection with the char-
acteristics of the various stages in social evo-
lution, and the limits within which it can be
cured by better economic arrangements.

In common with most Marxian socialists,
Ferri attacks religion and capitalism, marriage
(as we know it) and private property in the
means of production, in the same breath. The
socialist movement in this country has not
only not considered these attacks to be essen-
tial to the success of socialism, but has largely
disagreed with them. It may be true logically,
as Ferri asserts, that once the evolutionary
process is granted, it is as easy to swallow the
gnat of eternal and self-existent force and
matter, as it is to swallow the camel of an
eternal and self-existent God. Neither belief
may explain the origin of force, of creative
power, of will to struggle. But the British
socialist, as a rule, has said " Those things
have nothing to do with socialism."

So also with marriage. Mr. Bryce suggested
to the Sociological Society a few days ago
(23rd March) that it was necessary to collect
and classify, with a view of drawing scientific
sociological inferences from them, the facts
regarding the working of laws making divorce
easy. These facts have not been collected
and until they are, dogmatising in a priori
fashion upon the sociological future of the
marriage tie has not seemed to the British
socialist a very profitable mental exercise.
He has been content to record two well
observed conclusions. The first is, that capi-
talism hinders the free play of simple affection
in marriage to-day, and is thus responsible
not only for many ghastly failures in matri-
monial ventures, but also for offspring phy-
sically and morally unfit. This Ferri describes
as " sexual selection the wrong way " (selection

sexuelle a rebours.) The second is, that
capitalist industrial methods are crushing the
family out of existence, and whatever family
theory may or may not be most in accordance
with socialist conceptions, as a matter of
actual fact, capitalism and family life cannot
flourish together.

Ferri has conclusively shown that the natural
basis of the family is menaced by the motives
and the conditions of the capitalist regime.
When that regime has been supplanted by
another such as the socialist contemplates, the
family will flourish on congenial soil and in
pure air, and its moral and sociological value
will decide what laws are to govern its form
and determine its stability. Taking these
things into consideration, one may, with
formidable array of argument, contend that
so far from the marriage bond being weakened
by socialism, the supreme moral and
sociological value of the family organisation
will be then so clear, that the secular state
will frown upon divorce as much as the
Catholic Church does at the present moment.
The chief value of this study, however, is
the claim that it so successfully makes, that
the socialist conception -of human progress
and of the social conditions which are to be
the characteristics of the next, the socialist,
stage in that evolution, is not only in
accordance with the processes which Darwin
proved to be the method of the development
of life from the moneron to man, but is
those very processes themselves applied to
human society with such modifications as are
necessitated by the fact that they now
relate to life which can consciously adapt
itself to its -circumstances and aid natural
evolution by economising in experimental
waste. Thus, socialism is naught but Dar-

winism economised, made definite, become an
intellectual policy, applied to the conditions
of human society.

The translation, which has been made by
Miss Harvey, is as literal as the medium of
English will allow.

April, 1905.



THIS VOLUME which it is desired to bring
before the large public of French readers in
entering on the complex and vast question of
socialism, has a well-defined and limited aim.

I have proposed to indicate, and nearly
always by means of rapid and summary
observations, the general relations between
contemporary socialism and the trend of
modern scientific thought.

The opponents of contemporary socialism
only see in it, or only wish to see in it, a
reproduction of the sentimental socialism of
the first half of the igth century. They
maintain that socialism is contrary to the
data and fundamental inductions of physics,
biology and sociology, the marvellous de-
velopment and fruitful applications of which
are the title to glory of the century just closed.

These opponents of socialism have made use
of the individual interpretations and exaggera-
tions of certain partisans of Darwinism, of
the opinions of such-and-such a sociologist
opinions and interpretations in manifest con-
tradiction to the premises of their theories on
universal and inevitable evolution.

It has also been said, under the pressure of
acute or chronic hunger, that " if science is
against socialism, so much the worse for
science." And this is correct if by science
even with a capital S is meant all the
observations and conclusions ad usum delphini

which orthodox science, academic and official
often in good faith, but sometimes also with
a view to personal interest has always placed
at the disposal of dominant minorities.

I have believed it could be shown that
positive science is in complete agreement with
contemporary socialism which, since Marx
and Engels and their successors, differs essen-
tially from sentimental socialism both in its
scientific discipline and in its political tactics,
though it continues the generous efforts to
realise an identical aim : social justice for all

I have loyally and sincerely maintained my
thesis on scientific grounds : I have always
recognised the partial truth of the theories of
our opponents, and I have not overlooked the
title to glory that the bourgeois class and
science have acquired since the French
Revolution. The disappearance of the
bourgeois class and science, which at their
coming had marked the disappearance of the
clerical and aristocratic class and science, will
have as a consequence the triumph of social
justice for the whole of humanity, without
distinction of classes, and the triumph of truth
in its final consequences without reservations.

The appendix contains my replies to a
letter of Herbert Spencer and to the anti-
socialistic book of M. Garofalo. It shows
what is the actual state of social science, the
struggle between ultra-conservative ortho-
doxy, which is prevented by its traditional
syllogisms from seeing the sad facts of contem-
porary life, and between the new heterodoxy
which is increasingly asserting itself among
the learned as also in the collective intelligence.

Brussels, Nov., 1895.


A CONVINCED follower of Darwin and Spencer,
I purpose demonstrating that Marxian
socialism the only kind that has a positive
method and scientific worth, and that has
power henceforward to inspire and group the
social democrats of the whole civilised world
is only the practical and fruitful comple-
ment in social life of that modern scientific
revolution, which, inaugurated several centur-
ies back by the revival of the experimental
method in all the branches of human know-
ledge, has triumphed in our days, thanks to
the labours of Charles Darwin and Herbert

It is true that Darwin, and especially
Spencer, stopped short half -way from the final
conclusions of religious, political and social
order, which necessarily follow from ; their
indisputable premises. But that is only an
individual episode which cannot stop the
inevitable march of science or delay the
fulfilment of its practical consequences which
accord admirably with the saddest necessities
of contemporary life. This is but one more
obligation to us to render justice to the
scientific and political life of Karl Marx, who
completes the renovation of modern scientific

Feeling and thought are the two inseparable
motive forces in the individual and the
collective life.

Socialism, w.hich was only a few years ago
at the mercy of the deep-rooted but undiscip-
lined fluctuations of humanitarian sentiment-

alism, found in the work of Marx and of those
who developed and completed it, its scientific
and social guide. In that lies the explanation
of each of its conquests.

Civilisation is the most fruitful and beauti-
ful development of human energies, but it also
contains an infectious virus of enormous
power. By the side of the splendour of
artistic, scientific and industrial work, it
accumulates cankered products, idleness,
misery, folly, r crime, physical and moral
suicide that is to say, slavery.

Pessimism this mournful symptom of a life
without an ideal, and, in part, the effect of
the exhaustion, or even of the degeneracy of
the nervous system extols final annihilation
in order to conquer pain.

We, on the contrary, have faith in the
eternal " healing power of Nature," and
socialism is exactly that breath of a new and
better life which will deliver humanity
possibly after some access of fever from the
noxious products of the present phase of
civilisation, and which in a future phase will
give a new expansion to the healthy and
fruitful energies of all human beings.

Rome, June, 1894.




ON the 1 8th September, 1877, Ernest
Haeckel, the celebrated embryologist
of Jena, gave an eloquent address at
the Congress of Naturalists, held at Munich, in
defence and explanation of Darwinism, at that
time the subject of most stormy controversies.

Some days after, Virchow, the great path-
ologist a fighter in the parliamentary " pro-
gressive " party, who hates new theories in
politics as much as in science violently
attacked the Darwinian theory of organic
evolution, and with a very just presentiment
launched against it the cry of alarm and the
political anathema; " Darwinism leads directly
to Socialism."

The German followers of Darwin, with

Oscar Schmidt and Haeckel at their head,
protested immediately ; and in order not to
add this grave political opposition to that
then raised against Darwinism from the
religious, philosophical, and biological schools,
they maintained that on the contrary the
Darwinian theory is in open and absolute
opposition to socialism.

" If the socialists were prudent (wrote Oscar
Schmidt in the Ausland, 2jih November, 1877)
they would do all in their power to hush up
in silence the theory of descent, for this doc-
trine proclaims aloud that socialistic ideas
are impracticable."

" In fact," said Haeckel, * " there is no
scientific doctrine that proclaims more openly
than the theory of descent, that the equality
of individuals, to which socialism tends, is an
impossibility, that this chimerical equality is
in absolute contradiction to the necessary
inequality of individuals existing as a matter
of fact everywhere.

" Socialism demands for all citizens equal
rights, equal duties, equal wealth, equal
enjoyments ; the theory of descent establishes,
on the contrary, that the realisation of these
wishes is purely and simply impossible, that,
in human as in animal societies, the rights,
the duties, the wealth, the enjoyments of all
the associated members neither will, nor cap,
ever be equal.

* Les preuves du transformisme. Reply to Virchow.
Paris, 1879. Translated Soury, pp. no, &c.

"The great law of differentiation teaches
that, as well in the general theory of evolution
as in its biological part the theory of descent
the variety of phenomena arises from an
original unity, the diversity of functions from
a primitive identity, the complexity of
organisation from a primordial simplicity.
The conditions of existence are from their
entry into life unequal for all individuals.
There must be added hereditary qualities and
innate tendencies which vary more or less.
How could one's work-in life and the results
that proceed from it be equal for all ?

"The more social life is developed, the
more the great principle of the division of
labour becomes of importance, the more the
stability of the whole state demands that its
members should divide among themselves the
varied duties of life, and as the work to be
accomplished by individuals, and the expen-
diture of strength, talent, abilities, which it
necessitates, differs in the highest degree, it is
natural that the reward of this work should
also differ. These are facts so simple and so
evident, that every intelligent and enlightened
politician ought, it seems to me, to extol the
theory of descent and general doctrine of
evolution as the best antidote to the absurd
levelling Utopias of socialism.

" And it is Darwinism, the theory of selec-
tion, that Virchow, in his denunciation, has
had more in view even than transform ism, the
theory of descent, which are always confused.
Darwinism is anything rather than socialistic.

"If one wishes to attribute a political
tendency to this English theory which is
allowable this tendency would only be
aristocratic, not at all democratic, still less

"The theory of selection teaches that in the
life of humanity, as in that of plants and
animals, everywhere and always a small
privileged minority alone succeeds in living
and developing itself ; the immense majority,
on the contrary, suffer and succumb more or
less prematurely. The germs of every kind of
plant and animal, and the young that are
produced from them, are innumerable. But
the number of those which have the good
fortune to develop to their complete maturity
and which attain the aim of their existence,
is comparatively insignificant.

" The cruel and pitiless ' struggle for exis-
tence ' which goes on everywhere in animate
nature, and most naturally go on, this eternal
and inexorable competition of all that lives,
is an undeniable fact. Only the small num-
ber chosen from the strongest and fittest can
sustain this competition victoriously : the
large majority of the unhappy competitors
must necessarily perish. This tragic fatality
may well be deplored, but it cannot be denied
nor changed. All are called, but few are

" The selection, the ' election,' of these
' chosen ones,' is necessarily connected with
the defeat or the loss of a great number of
their living fellow creatures. Thus, another

learned Englishman has called the funda-
mental principle of Darwinism : ' the survival
of the fittest, the victory of the best.'

" In every case the principle of the selection
is anything rather than democratic : it is, on
the contrary, thoroughly aristocratic. If, then,
Darwinism, pushed to its final consequences,
has, according to Virchow, ' a very dangerous
side for the politician,' that is doubtless
because it favours aristocratic aspirations."

I have reproduced in their entirety, and
even in their form, all the arguments of
Haeckel because they are those repeated
in varying tones and with expressions that
only differ from these in precision and
eloquence by the opponents of socialism
who like to assume a scientific manner, and
who, to facilitate their dispute, make use of
these ready-made phrases which have more
currency, even in science, than one would

It is easy, however, to show in this discus-
sion, that Virchow's point of view was more
exact and clear, and that the history of the
last twenty years has proved him to be right.

It has happened, in fact, that Darwinism
and socialism have both progressed with a
marvellous force of expansion. The first
gained from thenceforth the unanimous sup-
port of the scientists for its fundamental
theory ; the second continued to develop in
its general aspirations and political discipline,
flooding all Jhe channels of the social con-
science like a torrential inundation from

internal wounds due to the daily increase of
physical and moral disease, or like a slow,
capillary, irrevocable infiltration into minds
freed from all prejudices and unable to satisfy
themselves with the personal advantages
procured by the orthodox "raking in" of

But as theories, political or scientific, are
natural phenomena, and not the capricious
and ephemeral blossom of the free will of
those who make and propagate them, it is
evident that if these two currents of modern
thought have both been able to triumph over
the first and strongest opposition of scientific
and political conservatism, and if the phalanx
of their disciples is daily augmented, that of
itself is sufficient to prove I would almost
say by a law of intellectual symbiosis that
they are neither irreconcilable nor contra-

Moreover, the three principal arguments to
which the anti -socialistic reasoning of Haeckel
is substantially reduced, cannot be maintained
against the most elementary criticism nor the
most superficial observation of daily life.

I. Socialism tends to an imaginary equality
of everybody and everything. Darwinism, on
the contrary, not only states, but explains the
organic reasons for the natural inequality
of the aptitudes and even of the needs of

'II. In the life of humanity, as in that of
plants and animals, the immense majority of
those who are born are destined to perish


because only a small minority triumph in the
" struggle for existence." Socialism claims,
on the contrary, that all ought to triumph in
this struggle, and that no one ought to be

III. The struggle for existence secures the
survival of the best, the victory of the
" fittest," and there consequently follows an
aristocratic gradation of selected individuals,
instead of the democratic, collectivist levelling
of socialism.



There is absolutely no foundation for the
first of the objections made to socialism in
the name of Darwinism.

If it were true that socialism aspires to the
equality of all individuals, it would be correct
to assert that Darwinism condemns it irre-

But though people even to-day fluently
/ repeat some in good faith, like parrots that
recite ready-made phrases, others in bad faith
and through polemical dexterity that social-
ism is synonymous with equality and level-
ling, the truth is, on the contrary, that
scientific socialism that which is inspired by
the theory of Marx, and which alone deserves
at the present day to be defended or attacked
has never denied the inequality of indi-
viduals as of all living beings an inequality
innate and acquired, physical and moral.f

* J. de Johannis, II concetto dell' eguaglianza nel
socialismo e nella scienza, in Rassegna delle scienze
sociali. Florence, i5th March, 1883, and more recently
Huxley, On the Natural Inequality of Man in the
Nineteenth Century, January, 1890.

t Utopian Socialism has left as a mental habit, even
with the most convinced followers of Marxian socialism,
the affirmation of certain inequalities the equality of the
two sexes for example which cannot be sustained in any
manner. Rebel ( Woman in the Past, Present and Future,
trans. London, 1885), the propagandist and apostle of
Marxian theories, this clever and eloquent strategist of
democratic socialism, still repeats the affirmation that

It is as if one said that socialism claims
that a royal decree or a popular vote could
establish that " from henceforth all men shall
have a stature of five feet seven inches !"

But really socialism is something more
serious and more difficult to refute.

Socialism says : " Men are unequal, but they
are all men."

And, in fact, although every individual
is born and develops in a manner more or
less different from all other individuals just
as there are not two leaves in a forest the
same, so in the whole world there are not two
men exactly equal yet every man from the
fact alone that he is a human being has a. right
to the existence of a man and not of a slave
or beast of burden.

We also know that all men cannot accom-
plish the same work to-day, when social
inequalities are added to natural inequalities,

from a physio-psychical point of view woman is the equal
of man, and he attempts unsuccessfully to refute the
scientific objections that have been raised to this thesis.

After the scientific researches of MM. Lombroso and
Ferrero (Donna delinquente, prostituta e normals, Turin,
1893), the physiological and psychological inferiority of
woman compared with man cannot be denied. I have
given a Darwinian explanation of this fact (Scuola
positiva, 1893, nos. 7 and 8) which Lombroso has since
completely accepted (Uomo di genio, 6th edition, 1894)
in drawing attention to the fact that all the physio-
psychical characteristics of women are the result of her
great biological function maternity.

A being that creates from herself another not in the
fleeting moment of a voluptuous contract, but by the
organic and psychical sacrifice of pregnancy, childbirth
and suckling cannot preserve for herself as much
strength as the man who has only an infinitely less
heavy function iff the reproduction of the species.


and that they could not do so any more under
a socialist regime when the social organisa-
tion will tend to diminish congenital inequal-
ities. There will always be people whose
brain or muscular system will be more fit for
scientific or artistic work, whilst others will
be more fit for manual work or for work of
mechanical precision, etc.

What ought not to be, and what will not
be, is that there should be men who do no
work, and others who work too much or who
are too poorly remunerated.

But we have attained the height of in-
justice and absurdity, and in these days it is
he who does not work who has the most
important advantages assured to him by the
individual monopoly of wealth, accumulated
by hereditary transmission. This wealth,
moreover, is very rarely due to the economy
and privations of the actual possessor or of
some industrious ancestor ; it is most fre-
quently the time-honoured fruit of spoliation

Also, save for certain individual exceptions, the
woman has less physical sensibility (the current opinion
is the contrary, but it confuses sensibility with irrita-
bility), because if her sensibility were greater she could
not, according to the Darwinian law, survive the
immense and repeated sacrifices of maternity, and the
species would die out. The woman has less intelligence,
especially in synthetic power, precisely because though
there are no women of genius (Sergi in Atti delta societd
romana di antropologia, 1894), or very nearly none, they,
however, give birth to men of genius.

This is so true that one meets with a greater sensrbility
and intelligence among women whose function and sense
of motherhood do not exist or are less developed (women
of genius have generally masculine features), and many
of them attain their complete intellectual development
just after the critical period when motherhood has passed.


by military conquest, by unscrupulous specu-
lation, or by the favouritism of sovereigns ;
but it is in every case always independent of
any exertion, of any work useful to society, on
the part of the heir, who often dissipates his
fortune in idleness, or in the vortex of a life
as empty in reality as it is brilliant in

And when we have not to consider a fortune
due to inheritance, we are faced with wealth
due to fraud. Without speaking for the
moment of the economic organisation, whose
mechanism Karl Marx has revealed to us,
which, even without fraud, normally allows
the capitalist or the landlord to live on his
revenues without working, it is incontestable
that the fortunes which have been made or
which have increased the most rapidly under
our eyes, cannot be the fruits of honest work.
The really honest workman, however inde-
fatigable and economical he may be, if he

But if it is scientifically certain that woman represents
an inferior degree of biological evolution, and that she is
placed even by her physio-psychical characteristics
between the child and the adult male, it does not
follow from this that the socialist conclusions in what
concerns the woman question are false.

Quite the contrary. Society ought to put woman, as a
human being and as a creator of men more worthy
consequently of love and respect in a better legal and
moral condition than she is in at present too often a
beast of burden or object of luxury. Similarly when from
the economic point of view special measures are claimed
to-day in favour of women, consideration is only paid to
their special physio-psychical conditions, whilst the present
economic individualism wears them out in manufactories
and rice plantations. Socialism, on the contrary, de-
mands from them only professional, scientific or muscular
work which is in keeping with sacred motherhood.


succeeds in raising himself from a state of
wage- earning to that of foreman or employer,
can in a long life of privations accumulate at
the most a few hundred pounds. Those men,
however, who without industrial discoveries
due to their own talent accumulate millions
in a few years can only be unscrupulous
business men, if we except a few strokes of
good luck, and it is these parasites bankers
and public speculators who live most grandly,
who are decorated or placed in official posts
as the reward of their honest transactions.

The immense majority who work, only
receive a sustenance that barely suffices to
keep them from dying of hunger ; they live in
the back shops, the garrets, in the tumble-
down lanes of great towns, in the hovels in
the country that are not wanted as cow-sheds
or stables for horses.

To this we must add the horrors of unem-
ployment, the most painful and frequent of
the three symptoms of this equality in misery
which is spreading in the modern economic
world, in Italy and elsewhere, in a more or less
intense form.

I speak of the always increasing army of
those out of work in agriculture and in trade
and manufactures, of those thrown out of the
class of small householders, and of those who
are dispossessed of their little landed property
by taxes, debts, or usury.

It is therefore not accurate to state that
socialism asks for all citizens material and
positive equality of work and possessions.


The equality can only consist in an obliga-
tion on the part of each individual to work
for a livelihood if each is guaranteed condi-
tions of existence worthy of a human being
in return for service rendered to society.

Equality, according to socialism as Benoit
Malon said* ought to be understood in a
double sense : I. All men as such ought to be
assured of the conditions of human existence;
2. All men ought to be equal at the starting
point in the struggle for life, so that each may
freely develop his own personality with
equality of social conditions, whilst to-day a
healthy and robust, but poor child, in com-
petition with a feeble, but rich child, goes to
the wall.

This is the radical, incommensurable trans-
formation that socialism demands, but which
it also discovers and announces as an evolu-
tion already begun in the world of to-day
necessary and inevitable in the world of the

This transformation is. summed up in the
conversion of private or individual ownership
of the means of production, that is to say of
the physical basis of human life (land, mines,
houses, manufactories, machines, implements
of work, means of transport), into collective
or social ownership according to methods and
processes with which I will deal further on.

From this point we will hold it to have

* B. Malon, Le Socialisme integral, 2 vol., Paris, 1892.

t Letourneau Pass6, present et avenir du travail, in
Revue mensuelle de I'tcole d'anthropologie. Paris, icth
June, 1894.


been proved that the first objection of anti-
socialistic reasoning is not valid because its
premise is non-existent ; it supposes, in fact,
that contemporary socialism lays claim to a
chimerical, physical, and moral equality
among all men, when scientific and positive
socialism has never thought never even
dreamed of it.

Socialism maintains, on the contrary, that
this inequality very much diminished in a
better social organisation which will do'away
with all the physical and moral imperfections
which misery accumulates from generation to
generation will never, however, be able to
disappear, for the reasons Darwinism has
discovered in the mysterious mechanism of life,
in the infinite succession of men and species.

In every social organisation, in whatsoever
fashion one conceives it, there will always be
some men tall and others short, feeble and
strong, sanguine and nervous, more and less
intelligent, some superior in intelligence,
others in muscular force ; and it is well that
it should be so anyhow, it is inevitable.

It is well, because the variety and inequality
of individual aptitudes produce naturally the
division of work which Darwinism has rightly
declared to be a law of individual physiology
and of social econony.

All men ought to work to live, but each
ought to give himself up to the work which
best corresponds to his ability. We should
thus avoid a hurtful waste of power, and work
would cease from being repugnant and become


agreeable and necessary as a condition of
physical and moral health.

And when all have given to society the
work which best corresponds to their innate
and acquired abilities, each has a right to the
same reward, because each has contributed
equally to the totality of labour which
sustains the life of the social aggregate, and
jointly with it, that of each individual.

The peasant who digs the ground performs
a work in appearance more modest, but quite
as necessary and meritorious as that of the
workman who makes a locomotive, of the
engineer who perfects it, or of the scholar
who struggles with the unknown in his study
or laboratory.

It is only necessary that in a society all
should work, just as in the individual
organism all the cells, for instance, the nerve
cells, the muscle cells, or bone cells, fulfil
their different functions, more or less modest
in appearance, but each equally necessary and
useful biologically to the. life of the whole

In the biological organism no living cell
remains inactive, and it is only nourished by
material exchanges in proportion to its work;
in the social organism no individual ought to
live without working, whatever may be the
form of his work.

Thus the greatest number of artificial diffi-
culties which opponents raise against socialism
are swept away.

But who will black the boots under the


socialist regime? asks M. Richter in his
book so poor in ideas but which reaches the
grotesque when he supposes that in the name
of social equality the " great Chancellor " of
the socialist society will be forced, before
giving his attention to public affairs, to black
his boots and mend his clothes ! Really, if
the opponents of socialism had only argu-
ments of this kind, discussion would be

But all would wish to perform the least
fatiguing and most pleasant work, says
another with more apparent seriousness.

I would reply that this is equivalent to
demanding to-day a decree thus conceived:
" Henceforth all men shall be born painters
or surgeons."

But it is precisely these anthropological
varieties of temperament and character that
will secure, without its being necessary to
have recourse to a monkish regulation (another
baseless objection to socialism), this distribu-
tion of different intellectual and manual

Propose to a peasant of moderate intelli-
gence to devote himself to the study of
anatomy or the penal code, or inversely tell
the person whose brain is more developed
than his muscles to dig the ground instead of
observing with the microscope. They' will
each prefer the work for which they feel they
have the most ability.

When society is organised under a collec-
tivist regime the change of trade or profession


will not be as considerable as most imagine.
When industries for personal luxuries are once
suppressed which are most often a defiance
to the misery of the masses the quantity
and variety of labours will gradually, that is
to say, naturally, adapt themselves to the
socialistic phase of civilisation as they now
correspond to the bourgeois phase.

Besides, under the socialistic regime every-
one will have greater liberty to assert and
show his personal aptitude, and it will not
happen, as it does to-day, that from want of
pecuniary means many peasants or members
of the working class or small shop keepers
endowed with natural talents, remain
atrophied and are forced to be peasants,
workmen, or employees when they could
furnish society with a different and more
fruitful work better adapted to their peculiar

The essential point consists solely in this :
In exchange for the work with which they
supply society, the latter ought to assure to the
peasant and artisan, just' as to the man who
devotes himself to a liberal career, conditions
of existence worthy of a human being.

Then will also disappear the unworthy
spectacle which causes a dancer, for example,
to gain by her steps in one evening as much
as a scientist, a doctor, or a lawyer, in a year
of work though they are indeed more likely
to impersonate misery in a black coat.

Certainly the arts will not be neglected in
the socialistic regime, because socialism


desires life to be agreeable to all, and this
to-day is only the privilege of the few ; it
will give, on the contrary, a marvellous im-
petus to all the arts, and, if it abolishes
private luxury, it will be to favour the
splendour of public monuments.

More attention will be paid to the remuner-
ation given to each for work done, and
compensation for specially difficult or dan-
gerous tasks will be given by increasing the
value to the workman of each hour spent on
them. If a peasant in the open-air can work
seven or eight hours a day, a miner ought not
to work more than three or four hours. In
fact, when all the world works, and when
many unproductive works are suppressed, the
sum total of daily work to divide among men
will be much less heavy and easier to bear (in
consequence of more abundant food, more
comfortable lodging and recreations assured
to each) than it is to-day for those who work
and who are so badly treated. Also, the
progress of the application of science to in-
dustry will render the work of men less and
less laborious.

Individuals will voluntarily give themselves
up to work, although their salary or remunera-
tion cannot be accumulated as private riches,
because if a healthy, normal, well-nourished
man avoids excessive or badly-paid work, he
does not remain in idleness, for there is for
him a physiological and psychological neces-
sity to give himself up to a daily occupation
in keeping with his aptitudes.


The different kinds of sport are for the idle
classes a substitute for productive work which
a physiological necessity imposes on them to
save them from the disagreeable conse-
quences of absolute repose and from ennui.

The most serious problem will consist in
apportioning to each the payment for work.
It is known that collectivism adopts the
formula, " to each according to his work,"
whilst communism adopts the other, " to each
according to his need."

No one can give, in its practical details, the
solution of this problem ; but this impossi-
bility of foretelling the future in its smaller
details authorises no one to tax socialism with
being an unattainable Utopia. No one would
have been able to prophesy, a priori, from its
beginnings, the successive developments of
any civilisation : I shall prove that in speak-
ing of the methods of social renovation.

This we can confidently affirm, relying
upon the most certain inductions of psychology
and sociology.

One cannot deny, as' Marx himself has
declared, that the above second formula
which according to some allows one to dis-
tinguish anarchy from socialism represents
a more remote and more complex ideal. But
one cannot deny that the formula of collec-
tivism only represents one phase of social
evolution, a period of individual discipline
which must necessarily precede communism.*

* M. Zerboglie has very justly remarked that indivi-
dualism, acting without pressure of external sanction, and


We must not believe that socialism will
realise every possible ideal of humanity, and
that after it there will be nothing to desire
and conquer ! Our descendants would be
condemned to idleness and vagrancy if we
had the capacity to exhaust every possible
human ideal.

The individual or society which has no
longer any ideal to pursue is dead or about
to die. The formula of communism could
then be a further ideal when collectivism has
been completely realised by the historical
process with which I shall deal further on.

We are now able to conclude that there is
no contradiction between socialism and
Darwinism on the subject of equality among
all men. Socialism has never affirmed it, and
it aims, in agreement with Darwinism, to pro-
mote a better life for individuals and for

This permits us also to answer the objection
too often repeated, that socialism stifles and
suppresses human personality under the leaden
mantle of collectivism by reducing individuals
to a monastic function, by making of them
so many human bees in the social hive.

It is exactly the contrary that is true.
Is it not evident that it is in the present

by a simple internal impulse of right this is the distant
ideal of Herbert Spencer would only be realised after a
phase of collectivism in which individual activity, and
instincts could discipline themselves into social solidarity
whilst escaping from the essentially anarchic individualism
of our time, in which every man, if he is sufficiently
clever to 'skirt the penal code,' may do what he pleases
without troubling himself about his fellow-men.

bourgeois organisation that thereare found this
atrophy and loss of so many individualities
which might develop to their own advantage
and to the advantage of society at large ?
To-day, in fact, apart from a few exceptions,
everyone is valued for what he possesses, and
not for what he is.

He who is born poor, obviously through no
fault of his own, may be endowed by nature
with artistic or scientific genius, but if he has
no patrimony of his own which will give him
the means of triumphing over his first
struggles, and of completing his personal
education, or if he has not, like the shepherd
Giotto, the good fortune to meet the rich
Cimabue he must disappear without a name
in the great prison of wage slavery, and
society itself thus loses treasures of intellectual

He who is born rich, although he owes his
fortune to no personal effort, even if he has
little brains, will play a leading part in the
theatre of life, and all servile persons will be
prodigal of praises and flattery, and he will
fancy, simply because he has money, that he
is a different sort of person from what he
really is.

When property has become collective, that
is under the socialist regime, each man will
have his means of existence assured, and daily
work will only serve to bring to light the
special aptitudes more or less original of each
individual, and the best and most fruitful
years of life 'will not be used up as they are


now by the painful and despairing conquest
of daily bread.

Socialism will assure to all a human life
real liberty to show and develop the physical
and moral personalities born with them,
infinitely varied and unequal. Socialism does
not deny inequality, it only wishes to direct
it towards a free and rich development of
human life.



Socialism and Darwinism are found to be
opposed, it is said, on a second point. Dar-
winism proves that the immense majority-
plants, animals, men are destined to succumb
because only a small minority triumph " in
the struggle for life " ; socialism claims that
all ought to triumph, and that no one ought
to succumb.

One may first reply that even in the
biological domain of the " struggle for
existence," the disproportion between the
number of individuals who are born and that
of those who survive always lessens pro-
gressively as one rises from vegetables to
animals, and from animals to men.

This law of decreasing disproportion
between the " called " and the " chosen " is
shown even in the different species of the
same natural order.

In fact, with vegetables the individual
yields each year an infinite number of seeds,
and an infinitesimal number of these survive.
With animals the number of young from each
individual diminishes, and the number of
those that survive, on the contrary, increases.
Finally, with the human species, the number
of individuals to which each gives birth is
very small, and the greater number survive.

But againln the case of vegetables, animals,

and man, it is the inferior and most simple
species, the races and classes least varied in
the scale of beings, which reproduce themselves
most freely and whose generations succeed
one another most rapidly in consequence of
the lesser longevity of the individuals.

A fern produces millions of spores, and its
life is very short whilst a palm tree gives a
few dozen seeds and lives a century.

A fish produces several thousand eggs
whilst the elephant and the chimpanzee have
a few little ones that live a great number of

In the human species savage races are the
most prolific, and have short life --whilst
civilised races have a low birth-rate and a
greater longevity.

From all this it follows that, even keeping
to the domain of pure biology, the number of
conquerors in the "struggle for existence" is
always more considerable relatively to the
number of births as one passes from vegetables
to animals, from animals to men, and from
inferior species or varieties to superior races
or varieties,

The iron law of "the struggle for existence"
rapidly reduces, then, the hecatomb of the
conquered as the forms of life become more
complex and perfect.

It would, therefore, be an error to invoke
against socialism the Darwinian law of
natural selection as it is manifested in primi-
tive forms of life without keeping account of
its continued attenuation as we pass from


vegetables to animals, from animals to men,
and among men themselves from the primitive
to the most advanced races.

And as socialism represents a more advanced
phase of progress in the life of humanity it is
still less allowable to urge against it as
an objection such a gross and inexact inter-
pretation of the Darwinian law.

It is certain that the opponents of socialism
have misused the Darwinian law, or rather
have misused the " brutal " interpretation of
it, to justify the modern individualistic com-
petition which is too often a disguised form
of cannibalism, and which has made the
proverb homo homini lupus (man a wolf to man)
a characteristic of our time, whereas Hobbes
only laid it down in the " state of nature "
era of humanity before the Social Contract.

But we cannot consider a principle to be
false because it has been misused ; that often
serves as a stimulus to specify more exactly
its nature and terms, so that we can make a
more exact practical application of it ; this
will be the result of my demonstration of the
perfect harmony that exists between Darwin-
ism and socialism.

Already in the first edition of my work
Socialismo e criminalita (pages 179, etc.), I
maintained that the struggle for existence is
a law inherent in humanity as in all living
beings, although its forms are continually
changing, and although it gets weaker.

This is still my opinion, and on this point
I do not agree with certain socialists who have


thought that they had completely conquered
the objection raised against them in the name
of Darwinism, by affirming that in human
society the " struggle for existence " is a law
which ought to lose its meaning and applic-
ability when the social transformation which
socialism aims at shall have been realised. *

It is a law which governs tyrannically all
living beings, microbes as well as anthropoid
apes, and should it cease to act and fall inert
at the feet of man as if he were not an indis-
soluble link in the great biological chain ?

I maintained, and I maintain still, that the
struggle for existence is a law inseparable from
life, and consequently from humanity itself ;
but that, whilst remaining an immanent and
continuous law, it is transformed by degrees
in its extent, and is attenuated in its forms.

In primitive humanity the struggle for
existence is scarcely to be distinguished from
that which obtains among other animals ; it
is the brutal struggle for daily food or for the
female hunger and love are, in fact, the two

* Labusquiere in Rivista internazionale del socialismo,
Milan, 1880. No. 3. Lanessan, La lutte pour I' existence
el I'association pour la lutte, Paris, 1881. Loria, Discorso
su Carlo Darwin, Siena, 1882, p. 17, and following, and
Darwin e I'economia politica in Riv. di filosofia scientifica,
June, 1884. Colajanni, // socialismo, Catania, 1884, etc.

M. Colajanni recognised from this moment (note i, p.
58), that the basis of my thought was "more socialistic
than is that of many other persons who imagine themselves
to be socialists, and who are persecuted as such." 'My
book, in fact,Socialismo e criminalitd, only made criticisms
on the revolutionary method of the Italian socialism of
that time, still stamped with nebulous romanticism. The
import of my criticisms was exaggerated, not without

fundamental needs, and the two poles of
life and its means are almost solely muscular
force. In a subsequent phase is added the
struggle for political supremacy (in the class,
in the tribe, in the village, in the town, in the
state), and, more and more, muscular force is
replaced by intellectual force.

In the historic period Grseco-Latin society
struggles for civil equality (abolition of
slavery) ; it triumphs, but does not stop
because life is a struggle ; the society of the
middle ages struggles for religious equality,
gains it, but does not stop ; and at the end
of the 1 8th century it struggles for political
equality. Should it now stop and rest
in its present state ? To-day society-
struggles for economic equality, not for
an absolutely material equality, but for
this more positive equality of which I have
spoken. And everything makes us foresee with
mathematical certainty that this victory will
be gained to give place to new struggles for
new ideals among our descendants.

reason, by conservatives more or less progressive ; but
already (1883) I was at the bottom a socialist, and I shall
prove it in the second edition of Socialismo e criminalitd..

My conviction became more complete and deeper, gradu-
ally and almost in spite of myself, by reading the popular
exposition of scientific socialism, which M. Turati wrote
in the Critica sociale, and M. Prampolini in the Giustizia;
I was at length definitely admitted to socialism through
the study of the works of Karl Marx, whose uncom-
promising dogmatism is clothed in a form a little dry and
hard, but whose general writings are irresistible, because
they are in complete harmony with the whole trend of
modern scientific thought.

The works of M. Loria, quite full of Marxian theories
which a marvellous stream of scientific learning fertilises,


The successive changes in the extent, or the
ideals of the struggle for existence, are
accompanied by a progressive mitigation of
the methods of the struggle ; violent and
muscular at first, they become more and more
peaceful and intellectual, despite certain
atavic reversions or certain psycho -patho-
logical manifestations of violence on the part
of individuals against society or of society
against individuals.

My opinion has recently found a striking
confirmation in the remarkable work of M.
Novikov, who, however, has not taken the
sexual struggle into account. I shall further
develop my demonstration in the chapter
devoted to the Moral Future of Humanity, in
the second edition of Socialismo e criminalita.^

For the moment it is sufficient for me, in
answer to the anti -socialistic objection, to
have shown that not only the disproportion
between the number of births and the number

and full of views of remarkable depth, completed my
socialistic education. Since then I have believed it my
duty to give to it my strict political adhesion ; besides,
even in the political world I was always impregnated
with socialistic ideas, and I remember that from the time
of my election to the Chamber of Deputies in 1886, my
controversies with the Republicans in the Epoca of Genoa
and the Lega della democrazia of Rome sprang from my
contention that the single fundamental question seemed
to me to be the social question.

I was still in this sociological phase which is, perhaps,
a necessary moment in scientific education, but which is
only an arrest of development if it does not attain the
practical and fruitful phase of socialism.

t Novikov, Les luttes entre socittes, leurs phases
successives. Paris, 1893. Lerda, La lotta per la vita in
Pensiero italiano, Milan, February and March, 1894.

2 9

of those who survive is always diminishing,
but also that the " struggle for existence "
itself changes its extent, and is weakened in
its processes with every successive phase of
biological and social evolution.

Socialism can then affirm that conditions
of human existence ought to be assured to all
men in exchange for work performed for the
community without thereby contradicting
the Darwinian law of the survival of the
victors in the struggle for existence, since this
Darwinian law ought to be comprised in, and
applied to (according to its different mani-
festation), the law of human progress.

Socialism, understood in the scientific
sense, does not deny and cannot deny that
there are always among men some " losers "
in the struggle for existence.

This question is more directly concerned
with the connection that exists between
socialism and crime, because those who claim
that the struggle for existence is a law which
does not apply to human society, affirm in
consequence that crime (an abnormal and
anti-social form of the struggle for life as work
in its normal and social form) ought to dis-
appear. They think likewise that they find a
certain contradiction between socialism and
the doctrines of criminal anthropology on the
born criminal, doctrines which are themselves
derived from Darwinism.

* I regret to state here that M. Loria, usually so deep
and penetrating, has allowed himself to be swayed by
appearances. He has pointed out this so-called contra-
diction in his Economic Basis oj Society. He has been


I will wait to treat this question more
completely elsewhere. Here is a summary,
my opinion as a socialist and as an anthro-
pologist writer on criminology.

First of all, the positive criminal school is
occupied with life as it is and its merit is
unquestionably to have applied to the study
of criminal phenomena the methods of experi-
mental science, to have shown the hypocritical
absurdity of the modern penal systems, which
are based on the conception of free-will and
of the moral fault, and which are realised in
the system of confinement in cells, one of the
aberrations of the igth century as I have
once called it: for that, the school wishes to sub-
stitute the simple segregation of individuals
who are not fit for social life in consequence
of pathological conditions, congenital or
acquired, permanent or transitory.

In the second place, to pretend that socialism
will make all forms of crime disappear is an
affirmation which proceeds from a generous
sentiment, but which is not founded on
rigorous scientific observation.

The school of scientific criminology demon-
strates that crime is a natural and social
phenomenon like madness and suicide
determined by the abnormal organic and
physical constitution of the delinquent, and

completely answered in the name of the school of positive
criminal anthropology by M. Rinieri de Rocchi, // diritto
penale e un'opera recente di Loria in the Scuola positiva
nella giurisprudenza penale of the i5th February, 1894,
and by M. Lombroso in Archivio di psichiatria e scienze
penali, 1894, xiv.

by the influences of the physical and social
environment. All anthropological factors,
physical and social, always co-operate together
to determine offences, the lightest as well as
the most serious as they do in all other
human acts. What varies for every delinquent
and every offence is the decisive intensity of
each order of factors.*

For example, if it is a question of an assas-
sination, committed through jealousy or some
hallucination, the anthropological factor is
the most important, although some attention
cannot but be paid to the physical and social
environment. But if it is a question of a
crime against poverty, or even against persons,
committed by a crowd in revolt, or from
drunkenness, etc., it is the social environment
that becomes the preponderant factor, although
one cannot deny the influence of physical
environment and of the anthropological factor.

The same reasoning can be repeated in
order to make a complete examination into
the objection raised to socialism in the name

* Enrico Ferri, Criminal Sociology (English trans-
lation), 1895. A recent work has just confirmed our
inductions in a positive manner : Forsanari di Verce,
Sulla criminalitd e le vicende economiche d' Italia dal
1873 <*l l8 9 (Turin), Library of Juridical Anthropology, 1894. The preface, written by M. Lombroso, ends with these words : " We do not wish by this to misappreciate the truth of the Socialist movement, which is destined to change the current of modern history in Europe, and which claims ad majorem gloriam of its conclusions that all crime depends on economic influence : we share this doctrine without wishing or being able to follow its mis- takes : however enthusiastic we may be, we will never renounce the tenth in its favour. We leave this useless servility to the classic and orthodox authors." 32 of Darwinism on the subject of common illnesses. Besides, crime is a department in human pathology. All diseases, acute or chronic, infectious or non-infectious, severe or slight, are the pro- duct of the anthropological constitution of the individual and of the influence of the physical and social environment. The deter- mining intensity of personal conditions or of environment varies with different illnesses ; phthisis or heart disease, for example, depends principally on the individual organic consti- tution, although attention must be paid to the influence of the environment ; pellagra,* cholera, typhus, etc,, depend, on the contrary, chiefly on the physical and social conditions of the environment. Phthisis also makes ravages among persons in easy circumstances, that is, among persons well fed and well housed, whilst it is the poor, that is, the persons badly fed, who furnish the greatest number of victims to pellagra and cholera. It is consequently evident that a socialist regime of collective property, which will assure to each the condition of human exis- tence, will greatly diminish, or perhaps cause to disappear with the help of scientific dis- coveries and the progress of hygienic measures the illnesses which are chiefly determined by the conditions of the environment, that is to say, by insufficient nourishment or by want * A skin and nerve disease, known in Spain, Italy, and,elsewhere, where maize of inferior quality is largely consumed by the peasantry. ED. 33 of protection against the inclemency of the weather ; but we shall not see those illnesses disappear which are due to wounds, to insanity, to pulmonary affections. We must say as much of crime. If misery and the shocking inequalities of economic conditions are suppressed, sharp and chronic hunger will serve no longer as a stimulus to crime ; better nourishment will bring about a physical and moral amelioration ; the abuses of power and riches will disappear, and we shall see produced a considerable reduction of crimes from want, chiefly caused by the social environment. But what will not disappear are outrages on chastity, through sexual path- ological inversion, murders committed by epileptics, robberies caused by psycho-patho- logical degeneracy, etc. For the same reason popular instruction will be more spread, all the talented men will be able to develop themselves and to freely assert themselves ; but that will not cause idiocy and imbecility, owing to hereditary and pathological conditions, to disappear. Differ- ent causes, however, will be able to exert a preventive and palliative influence on congen- ital degeneracy (common diseases, crime, madness, nervous affections). There will be, for instance, a better economic and social organisation, advice of increasing efficacy given by experimental biology, and procrea- tion becoming less and less frequent in case of hereditary disease by voluntary abstention. In conclusion, we will say that even in the 34 social regime although in infinitely less proportions there will always be some vanquished in the struggle for existence, there will be the victims of feebleness, of disease, of insanity, of nervous disorder, of suicide. We can then assert that socialism does not deny the Darwinian law of the struggle for existence. It will, however, have this unquestionable advantage that the epidemic and endemic forms of human degeneracy will be completely suppressed by the elimination of their principal cause, the physical and, consequently, the moral misery of the greatest number. Then the struggle for existence, whilst still remaining the eternal impulsive force of social life, will assume forms continually less brutal and more humane intellectual forms ; its ideal of physiological and psychical ameliora- tion will be constantly raised, owing to the vitalising effect of daily bread for body and mind being assured to each person. The law of the " struggle for life " must not make us forget another law of natural and social Darwinism. Certainly many socialists have given it an excessive and exclusive importance just as certain individualists have left it completely in oblivion. I mean the law of solidarity which unites all living beings of the same species for example, the animals that live in a community in consequence of the abundance of a common food (herbivora), or even the animals of different species living in a state which naturalists call symbiosic union for life. 35 It is not true to affirm that the struggle for life is the only supreme law in nature and society, just as it is false to claim that this law does not apply to human society. The real truth is that even in human society the struggle for life is an eternal law which weakens progressively in its forms and rises in its ideals ; but beside it we find a law whose action is progressively more efficacious in social evolution, the law of solidarity or of co-operation among living beings. Even in societies of animals mutual help against natural forces or against living species is constantly manifested, and in all the more intense fashion when we come to the human species, even to savage tribes. It is found especially among tribes which, in consequence of favourable conditions of environment or in consequence of assured and abundant food, enter into the industrial and pacific stage. The military or warlike type which ^unhappily rules (in consequence of insecurity and insufficiency of food) among primitive mankind, and in the reactionary phases of civilisation, offers us less frequent examples. The industrial type tends constantly, more- over, as Spencer has shown, *to take the place of the warlike type.* * See in this sense the celebrated writings of Kropot- kin, Mutual Aid among the Savages, in the Nineteenth Century, gih April, 1891, and Among the Barbarians, ibid., January, 1892 [published in Mutual Aid : a factor of evolution, 1902. ED.], and also two recent articles signed "A Professor," appearing in the Revue socialiste of Paris, Ma"y and June, 1894, under the title Lutte ou accord pour la vie. 36 Referring to human society alone, we may put it this way : whilst in the first stages of social evolution the law of the struggle for existence takes precedence of the law of solidarity, the more the division of labour and in consequence the connection between the individuals of the social organism grows, the more does the law of co-operation or solidarity acquire a force progressively more intense and extended, and that for the funda- mental reason which Marx has indicated and which constitutes his grand scientific dis- covery, because the conditions of existence, and primarily food, are or are not assured. In the life of individuals, as in that of societies, when food, that is to say the physical basis of existence, is assured, the law of solidarity takes precedence of the law of the struggle for existence, and the inverse of this also holds good. Among savages, infanticide and parricide are acts not only permitted, but obligatory, and sanctified by religion, if the tribe lives on an island where food is scanty (for example in Polynesia), and they con- stitute immoral and criminal acts on conti- nents where food is more abundant and more sure.* In the same way in our present society, the majority of individuals not being sure of their daily bread, the struggle for life, ,or " free competition," as individualists call it, takes more cruel and more brutal forms. As soon as, with collective property, each * Enrico Ferri, Omicidio nell' antropologia crimincile. Introduction, Turin, 1894. 37 individual has his conditions of existence assured, the law of solidarity will be pre- ponderant. When in a family things go well and daily bread is assured, harmony and reciprocal goodwill reign ; as soon as poverty makes its appearance, discord and struggle follow. Society, as a whole, presents us with this picture magnified. A better social organisa- tion will secure everywhere harmony and reciprocal kindness. Such will be the triumph of socialism, and such is, once more, the most complete and fruitful interpretation that socialism gives of the inexorable natural laws discovered by Darwinism. CHAPTER IV. THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. The third and last division of Haeckel's argu- ment is correct if it is restricted to the purely biological and Darwinian domain, but his starting point is false if it is applied to the social domain and is used as an objection to socialism. It is said: the struggle for existence secures the survival of the best or the best fitted ; it consequently determines an aristocratic pro- cess of individualist selection and not the democratic levelling of socialism. Here again, let us begin by finding out exactly once more, of what consists this famous natural selection, the consequence of the struggle for existence. The expression of which Haeckel makes use, and which is besides commonly employed, "survival of the best or the best adapted," ought to be corrected. We ought to suppress the adjective best. It is the residue of a teleology which saw in nature and history a finality to be attained by means of a continuous amelioration. Darwinism, on the contrary, and still more the theory of universal evolution, has excluded all finality from modern scientific thought a'nd from the interpretation of natural phenomena; evolution consists both of involution and dis- solution. It can happen, and it does happen, that in comparing the two ends of the road 39 travelled over by humanity we state that there has really been progress, amelioration on the whole, not following a straight ascending line, however, but as Goethe has said, a spiral with rhythms of advance and retro- gression, of evolution and dissolution. Every cycle of evolution in the individual as in the collective life carries in itself the germs of the corresponding cycle of dissolution, and the latter inversely by the decay of the already worn out form prepares in the eternal laboratorynewevolutionsandnew forms of life. It is thus that in the social human world every phase of civilisation carries within itself and always develops further the germs of its own dissolution whence is derived a new phase of civilisation whose geographical seat will be more or less changed in the eternal rhythm of living humanity. The ancient ecclesiastical civilisations of the East dissolve and give birth to the Graeco- Roman world to which succeeds the feudal and aristocratic civilisation of Central Europe ; this also being dissolved through its own excesses, like the preceding civilisations, is replaced by the bourgeois civilisation which has attained its culminating point in the Anglo-Saxon world. But this already feels the first shiverings of the fever of dissolution, whilst a socialist civilisation is being born and is developing itself, a civilisation which will flourish over a vaster domain than that of the other civilisations which have preceded it.* * One of the most characteristic phases of social dis- solution is that of parasitism, cf Massart and Vander- velde, Parasitism, Organic and Social, London, 1895. 40 It is not, therefore, correct to claim that natural selection determined by the struggle for existence secures the survival of the best ; really it secures the survival of the best adapted. It is very different whether it is a question of natural or of social Darwinism. The struggle for existence necessarily deter- mines the survival of the individuals best adapted to the society and the time in which they live. In the natural, biological domain the free play of forces and of cosmic conditions secures a progressive elevation of living forms from the microbe up to man. In human society, on the contrary, that is to say in the superorganic evolution of Mr. H. Spencer, the interference of other forces and of other conditions determines occasionally a selection which is retrograde but which always secures the survival of those best adapted to a given society and point of time, in keeping with the corrupted conditions if they are such of this same society and point of time. The problem is one in "social selections." It is in starting from this idea wrongly in- terpreted that certain writers, socialists and non-socialists, arrive at refusing to Darwinian theories an applicability to human society. One knows in fact that in the contemporary, civilised world natural selection is vitiated by military selection, by matrimonial selection, and principally by economic selection.* * Broca, Les selections ( Social selections) in Mdmoires d' anthropologie, Paris, 1877, in. 205 Lapouge, Les Selections sociales, in Revue d' anthrop. 1887, p. 519. Loria, Discorso su Carlo Darwin, Siena, 1882. The temporary celibacy imposed on soldiers exercises a certainly deplorable influence on the human race ; it is the young men with the least good constitutions, who, relieved of military service, marry the earliest, whilst the most healthy individuals are constrained to temporary sterility, and in the large towns run the chances of syphilis, the effects of which are unfortunately permanent. Marriage itself, corrupted as it is in our present civilisation by economic interests, exercises usually a sexual selection in the wrong way. Women degenerate in healih t but, possessing a large fortune, find a husband more easily than the more robust women of the people or the middle class without a marriage portion, and these are condemned to remain sterile in an enforced celibacy, or to give themselves up to a prostitution more or less gilded, j It is incontestable that economic conditio'ns have an influence on all social relations. The monopoly of wealth assures to its possessors victory in the struggle for existence ; rich persons, even when they' are less robust, have a longer life than those who are ill fed ; the labour by day and by night under cruel conditions imposed on adult men, and the still more disastrous work imposed on women Vadala, Darwinistno naturale e darwinisme sociale, Turin, 1883. Bordier, La vie des societes, Paris, 1887. Sergi, Le degenerazioni umane, Milan, 1889, p. 158. Bebel, Woman in the Past, Present, and Future, London 1885. t Max Nordau, Conventional Lies of our Civilisation, London, 1895. ' and children by modern capitalism, make the biological conditions of the proletarian class daily worse. * To that we must add that moral selection in the wrong way which causes capitalism to- day in the struggle waged with the proletariat to favour the survival of men of servile character, whilst it persecutes and tries to keep in the shade men of strong character and all those who do not seem disposed to bear the yoke of the present economic order, f The lirst impression which we get from the statement of all these facts is, that the Darwinian law of natural selection is worth- less, and is not found to apply to human society. I have maintained, and 1 maintain, on the contrary, first, that these social selections of backward tendency are not in contradiction to the Darwinian law, and more, that they serve as material for an argument in favour of socialism. Socialism in fact will alone be able to bring about a more beneficent working of this inexorable law of natural selection. In fact the Darwinian law does not deter- mine the survival of the best, but only of the best adapted. * On this question can be consulted, outside demo- graphic statistic, the abstracts worked out at Turin in 1879 by M. Pagliani, the present director general of the office of Hygiene to the Ministry of the Interior, on the different development of the human body, notably more backward and more feeble among the poor than among the rich. This fact shows itself less at the time of birth than in infancy and later, that is to say as soon as the influence of economic conditions makes its inexorable tyranny felt. t Turati, Selezione servile in Critica Sociale, i, June, 1894. Sergi, Degenerazioni umane, Milan, 1889. 43 It is evident that the degeneracy produced by social conditions, and notably by the present economic organisation, will still only contribute, and always increasingly, to the survival of those best adapted to this econo- mic organisation itself. If the conquerors in the struggle for exist- ence are the worst and the most feeble, that does not mean that the Darwinian law does not apply ; it simply means that the society is vitiated and that those who survive are precisely those who are best adapted for this vitiated society. In my studies in criminal psychology I have too often been obliged to state that in prisons and in the criminal world it is the fiercest or the most cunning criminals who enjoy a triumph ; it is the same in our modern economic individualism ; the victory belongs to him who has fewest scruples, the struggle for existence favours him who is the best adapted to a world where a man is valued for what he has (in whatever way he may have obtained it) and not for what he is. The Darwinian law of natural selection works then even in human society. The error of those who deny this proposition arises because they confuse the present society and time which bears in history the name of bourgeois, as the middle ages were called feudal with the whole history of humanity ; and in consequence they db not see that the disastrous effects of retrogressive modern social selection are only a confirmation of the survival of the best adapted. Popular obser- 44 vation has summed up this fact in a proverb : " The cask gives the wine it contains "; and scientific observation finds its explanation in the necessary biological relations which exist between a given society and the individuals which are born, struggle and survive in it. On the other side this statement constitutes a peremptory argument in favour of socialism. In freeing society of all the corruptions with which an unbridled economic individual- ism pollutes it, socialism will necessarily correct the effects of natural and social selection. In a society physically and morally healthy the best adapted, those who will consequently survive, will be healthy. In the struggle for existence, victory will then belong to him who possesses the greatest and most fruitful physical and moral energies. The collectivist economic organisation, in assuring to each the conditions of existence, must necessarily ameliorate the human race physically and morally. To that one may answer : let us admit that socialism and Darwinian selection can be reconciled, is it not evident that the survival of the best adapted will form an aristocratic individualist process which is contrary to the socialist levelling ? I have already partly answered this objec- tion in observing that socialism will assure to all individuals and not only to some privileged ones or to some heroes, as now the freedom to assert and to develop their own personality. Then indeed the effect of the ggle for existence will be the survival of 45 the best, and that precisely because in a normal society it is to normal individuals that victory belongs. Social Darwinism, therefore, in continuing natural Darwinism will bring about a selection towards the best. To answer completely this affirmation of an unlimited aristocratic selection, I must recall another natural law which completes this rhythm of action and reaction whence results the equilibrium of life. To the Darwinian law of natural inequalities must be joined another law which is insepar- able from it and which Jacoby following the works of Morel, Lucas, Galton, De Candole, Ribot, Spencer, Mme. Royer, Lombroso, etc., has brought into full daylight. This same nature which makes of "choice" and of aristocratic elevation a condition of vital progress, then re-establishes equilibrium by a levelling and democratic law. " Out of the immensity of humanity indi- viduals, families, and races spring up which tend to raise themselves above the common level. Painfully they climb abrupt heights, reach the summit of power, of wealth, of intelligence, of talent, and, once having attained,. are precipitated below and disappear in the abysses of madness and degeneracy. Death is the great leveller ; whilst annihilating all that rise, it democratises humanity.* * Jacoby, Etudes sur la selection dans ses rapports avec I' herddit& chez I' homme, Paris, 1881, p. 606. Lombroso, The Man of Genius, London, 1889, has developed and completed this law. It is this law which all those forget too easily who, 4 6 Everythings that tends to constitute a monopoly of natural forces comes into collision with this supreme law of nature which has given to all living beings the use and disposal of the natural agents air and light, water and land. Everything which is too much above or too much below the human average, an average which is raised with time, but which is of absolute value for each historic period dies out and disappears. The cretin, the man of genius, the pauper and the millionaire, the dwarf and the giant, are so many natural and social monstrosities, and nature strikes them inexorably with degeneracy or sterility, whether they be the product of organic life or the effect of the social organisation. It is also an inevitable destiny for all families that possess any sort of monopoly monopoly of power, wealth, or talent to see their last offspring become mad or sterile or commit suicide, and finally be extinguished. Noble houses, dynasties of sovereigns, families of artists or learned men, descendants of mil- lionaires, all follow the common law which, once again, confirms the inductions, in this sense levelling, of science and socialism. like Nietzsche in our days, attempt to modernise aristo- cratic individualism by views, sometimes deep and original, but often also fantastic and foolish. It is this same law which Mr. Ritchie ignores (Dar- winism and Politics, London, 1891) in his Section 4 "Does the doctrine of Heredity support aristocracy?" and M. Boucher in his treatise Darwinism et Social- isme, Paris, 1890. CHAPTER V. SOCIALISM AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. None of the three contradictions between socialism and Darwinism which Haeckel formulated, and which so many authors have repeated after him, withstands a frank and more exact examination of the natural laws attached to the name of Charles Darwin. I add that not only is Darwinism not contrary to socialism, but that it forms one of its fundamental scientific premises. As Virchow justly remarked, socialism is nothing else than the logical and vital outcome partly of Darwinism and partly of Spencerian evolution. Darwin's theory, whether one likes it or not, in showing that man descends from animals, has struck a great blow at the belief in God as the creator of the universe and of man by a special fiat. It is for that reason, moreover, that the most implacable opposition, and the only one which subsists against his scientific induction was, and is, maintained in the name of religion. It is true that Darwin did not declare him- self an Atheist, and Mr. Spencer was not one ; it is also true that, strictly speaking, Darwin's theory and Spencer's can be reconciled with a belief in God, because one can admit that God has created matter and force, and that 4 8 both have then evolved their successive forms following an initial creative impulse. One cannot, however, deny that these theories, whilst rendering more and more inflexible and universal the idea of causality, lead necessarily to the negation of God, because one can always ask oneself : " and who has created God? " And if the answer is : " God has always existed," one can retort by affirming that the universe has always existed. Following the remark of M. Ardigo, human thought cannot conceive that the chain which binds effects to causes, can terminate at a purely conventional given point.* God, as Laplace has said, is an hypothesis of which positive science has no need. He is, according to Herzen, at the most an X which contains in itself not the unknowable as Spencer and Dubois Reymond claim but all that humanity does not yet know. Also it is a variable X which decreases in proportion as the discoveries of science advance. It is for this reason that science and religion are in inverse ratio one to the other ; the one diminishes and becomes feeble in the same measure as the other increases and is strengthened in its struggle with the unknown. And if this is a consequence of Darwinism, its influence on the development of socialism is perfectly evident. The disappearance of the faith in something beyond when the poor will become the elect * Ardigo, La Formazione naturale, vol. n, in his Opere filologiche, and vol. 6, La Ragione, Padua, 1894. 49 of the Lord, and when the miseries of this " valley of tears " will find^an eternal com- pensation in Paradise, gives more vigour to the desire of a little "terrestrial Paradise" down here for the unhappy and the less fortunate who are the most numerous. Hartmann and Guyau* have shown that the evolution of religious beliefs can be thus summarised : all religions have within them- selves the promise of happiness, but primitive religions admit that the happiness wilP be realised during the life itself of the individual, and later religions, by an excess of reaction, transport it outside this'mortal world 'after death; in the last phase this realisation of happiness is again replaced' in human life, no longer in the short moment of individual existence, but in the continued evolution of the whole of humanity. On this side again, socialism is joined to religious evolution and tends f to substitute itself for religion because it desires precisely that humanity should have in itself its own " terrestrial paradise " . without having to wait for it in a "something beyond," which, to say the least, is very problematical. Also it has been very justly remarked that the socialist movement has numerous charac- teristics common, for instance, to primitive * What is predominant, however, in religious beliefs is the hereditary or traditional sentimental factor ; that is what makes them always respectable, if they are pro- fessed in good faith, and often even sympathetic and that precisely on account of the candid and delicate sensibility of the persons among whom religious faith is the most vital and sincere. 50 Christianity, notably its ardent faith in the ideal which has finally deserted the arid field of bourgeoise scepticism, and certain learned men, not socialists, such as Messrs. Wallace,* Laveleye, and Roberty, etc., admit that socialism, by its humanitarian faith, can perfectly replace the faith in the " something beyond " of the old religions. The most direct and efficacious relations are, however, those which exist between socialism and the belief in God. It is true that Marxian socialism since the Congress held at Erfurt (1891) has rightly declared; that religious beliefs are a private affair, and that consequently, the socialist party will fight religious intolerance in all its forms, whether it be directed against Catholics or Jews, as I have indicated in an article against Antisemitism.j" But this superiority of view is, at the bottom, only a consequence of confidence in a final victory. It is because socialism knows and foresees that religious beliefs, whether we consider them with M. SergiJ as pathological pheno- mena of human psychology or as useless phenomena of moral incrustation, must waste away before the extension of even elementary scientific culture ; it is for that reason that socialism does not feel the necessity of fighting specially these same religious beliefs which * Dr. Wallace has now become a Socialist. ED. t Nuova Rassegna, August, 1894. I Sergi, L'origine del fenomeni psichici e loro signifi- cazione biologica, Milan, 1885, p. 334 and the following. are destined to disappear. It has taken this attitude even though it knows that the absence, or lessening, of the belief in God is one of the most powerful factors in its extension, because the priests of all religions have been, in all phases of history, the most powerful allies of the governing classes in keeping the masses bent under the yoke, thanks to religious fascination, as the tamer keeps wild beasts under his whip. And that is so true that the most clear- sighted conservatives, even if they are atheists, regret that the religious sentiment this very precious narcotic should continue to dimin- ish among the masses, because they see in it, if their pharisaism does not allow them to say it openly, an instrument of political domination.* Unhappily, or happily, the religious senti- ment cannot be re-established by a royal decree. If it disappear one cannot blame either Titus or Caius, and there is no need of a special propaganda against it, for that is in the air we breathe saturated as it is with scientific, experimental inductions and the sentiment no longer finds conditions favour- able to its development, as it found in the mystic ignorance of past centuries. I have thus shown the direct influence of modern positive science, which has substituted * As for the pretended influence of religion on personal morality, I have shown what little foundation there is for this opinion in my studies of criminal psychology, and more especially in Omicidio nell' antropologia criminate. 52 the conception of natural causality for the conception of miracle and divinity, on the very rapid development and on the experi- mental foundation of contemporary socialism. Democratic socialism does not view " Catholic socialism " with an evil eye, because it has nothing to fear from it. Catholic socialism, in fact, contributes to the propaganda of socialist ideas, notably in the rural districts, where faith and religious observance have still much life in them, and it is not Catholic socialism that will gather the palm of victory ad majorem Dei gloriam. As I have shown, there is an increasing antagonism between science and religion, and the socialist varnish will not be able to pre- serve Catholicism. " Terrestrial " socialism, besides, possesses a much greater power of attraction. When peasants are familiarised with the views of Catholic socialism, it will be very easy for democratic socialism to collect them under its own flag. They will, moreover, themselves effect their own conversion. Socialism finds itself in an analogous position towards republicanism. Just as atheism is a private matter that concerns the individual conscience, so the republic is a private affair that interests portions of the bourgeoisie. Certainly when socialism is ready to triumph, atheism will have made immense progress, and the republic will have been established in many lands which to-day submit to a monarchical regime. But it is 53 not socialism which develops atheism any more than it is socialism which will establish the republic. Atheism is a product of the theories of Darwin and Spencer in the present bourgeois civilisation, and the republic has been, and will be, in different countries the work of a part of the capitalist bourgeoisie, as was recently written in some conservative newspapers of Milan, when it was said, " the monarchy will no longer serve the interests of the country " that is to say, of the class in power. The evolution from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and to republicanism, is an evident historical law; in the civilisation of to-day the only difference is in the elective or the hereditary character of the head of the State. In the different European countries the bourgeoisie itself will demand this passage from the monarchy to the republic in order to delay as long as possible the triumph of social- ism. In Italy, as in France, in England as in Spain, one sees only too many republicans or radicals whose attitude towards social questions is more bourgeois and conservative than that of intelligent conservatives. At Montecitorio, for example, M. R. Imbriani, has in religious and social matters more conservative opinions than M. di Rudini, M. Imbriani, whose personality is moreover very sympathetic, has never attacked a priest or a monk he who attacks the whole universe, and very ofteji rightly, though without much success, in consequence of an error in his 54 method and he alone has opposed even with blows the laws proposed by M. L. Ferrari, deputy, who increased the succession tax on inheritances in the indirect line.** Socialism has thus no more interest in preaching republicanism than it has in preaching atheism. To each his role, that is the law of division of labour. The struggle against atheism is the business of science ; the establishment of the republic has been, and will be, the action in the different countries of Europe of the bourgeoisie itself, conservative or radical. All that is history marching towards socialism, whilst individuals are unable to hinder or retard the succession of the phases of the moral, political and social evolution. * English readers will readily supply from their own experience substitutes for the names of the Italian poli- ticians referred to here. ED. CHAPTER VI. THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE SPECIES. We can again show that scientific socialism proceeds directly from Darwinism by examining the different modes of conceiving the individual in relation to the species. The eighteenth century finished with the exclusive glorification of the individual^ of the man as an entity in himself. In the works of Rosseau this was only a beneficent excess of reaction from the political and sacerdotal tyranny of the Middle Ages. This individualism has created, as a direct consequence, a political artificialism with which I shall occupy myself later in studying the relations of the theory of evolution and of socialism, and which is common to the govern- ors in the bourgeois regime and to individual- ist anarchists because they both imagine that the social organisation can be changed in a day by the magical effect of a clause of a law or by a bomb more or less murderous. Modern biology has radically changed this conception of the individual, and it has shown in the domain of biology as in that of sociol- ogy that the individual is himself only an aggregate of more simple living elements, and at the same time that the individual in him- self, the Selbstwesen of the Germans, does not exist in himself but only as far as he is a member of a society (Gliedwesen). 56 Everything living forms an association, a collective whole. The moneron itself, the living cell, the irreducible expression of the biological individuality, is also an aggregate of different parts (nucleus, nucleolus, proto- plasm), and each of these in its turn is an aggregate of molecules, which are aggregates of atoms. The atom does not exist alone as an indi- vidual ; the atom is invisible and impalpable, and does not live. And the complexity of the aggregate, the federation of parts, increases continually as we pass in the zoological series from the protozoa to man. The unifying and equalising Jacobin artifi- cialism corresponds to the metaphysics of individualism just as the conception of national and international federalism corre- sponds to the positive character of scientific socialism. The organism of a mammal is only a federation of tissues, organs, structure ; the organism of a society can only consist of a federation of townships, provinces, regions : the organism of humanity can only consist of a federation of nations. If it is absurd to conceive of a mammal whose head, for instance, should move in the same manner as its extremities, and its extremities should all move together, there is no less absurdity in a political and adminis- trative organism in which the province in the extreme North, or the mountainous province, for instance, should have the same official 57 machinery, the same body of laws, the same movements as the province in the extreme South, or the province composed of plains from the simple love of symmetrical uniformity, this pathological expression of unity. If we leave on one side these considerations of political order in accordance with which we conclude, as I have done elsewhere;* that the only organisation possible for Italy, as for every other country, seems to me to be that of an administrative federalism in a political unity, we can consider as proved, that at the end of the igth century the indi- vidual, as a being in himself is dethroned in' biology as in sociology. The individual exists but only in so far as he makes part of the social aggregate. Robinson Crusoe, this perfect type of indi- vidualism, can only exist as a legend or a pathological case. The species that is to say the social aggregate is the great, the living and eternal reality of life, as Darwinism has shown, and as all the positive sciences from astronomy to sociology have shown. At the end of the i8th century Rousseau thought that the individual alone exists, and that society is an artificial product of the "social contract," and as he attributed (just as Aristotle had done for slavery) a permanent human character to the transitory manifesta- tions of the historical period of the decay of * Criminal Sociology, London, 1895. 58 the regime in which he was living, he added that society is the cause of all evils, and that individuals are born good and equal. At the end of the igih century, on the contrary, all the positive sciences are agreed in recognising that aggregation is a natural and inseparable fact of life, with vegetable as with animal species from the lowest " animal colonies " of zoophytes to the societies of mammals (herbivora) and to human society.* All that the individual possesses of what is best, he owes to the social life, although every phase of the evolution be marked at its close by pathological conditions of social decay, essentially transitory moreover, which inevi- tably precede a new cycle of social renovation. The individual, as such, if such could be, would satisfy only one of the two fundamental needs of existence nourishment that is to say, the egoistic preservation of his own organism, by means of this periodical and fundamental function which Aristotle desig- nates by the name of ctesi the conquest of food. * I cannot concern myself here with the recent eclectic attempt of M. Fouille which others have followed. M. Fouill6e wishes to oppose, or at least to add, to the naturalist conception of society that of consent or con- tract. Evidently, since no theory is absolutely false, there is even in the theory of contract a particle of truth, and the freedom to emigrate may be an example of it as long as it is compatible with the economic interests of the class in power. But evidently this consenting which does not exist at the birth of each individual in such or such a society and this being born forms the most decisive and tyrannical deed in life is likewise very trifling in the development of his aptitudes and tendencies, dominated as these are by the iron law of the economic and political organisation of which he is an atom. 59 But all individuals must live in society, because a second fundamental need of life is imposed on them, that of the reproduction of beings similar to themselves for the preserva- tion of the species. It is this life of relation and of reproduction (sexual and social) which gives birth to the moral or social sense, and which allows the individual not only to be, but to co-exist with his fellows. We can say that these two fundamental instincts of life bread and love accomplish a function of social equilibrium in the life of animals, and notably of men. It is love which causes, for the greatest number of men, the principal physiological and psychical expenditure of forces accumu- lated in a more or less large amount by the daily food which the daily toil has not absorbed or which parasitic laziness has left intact. Much more is love the only pleasure which has really universal and levelling character. The people have called it " the Paradise of the poor " and religions have always invited them to enjoy it without limits crescite et multipli- camini (be fruitful and multiply) because the erotic exhaustion which results from it, especially among males, diminishes or makes them forget the tortures of hunger and servile toil, and enervates in a lasting manner the energy of the individual ; and in this way it fulfils a useful function for the dominant class. But with this effect of the sexual instinct another is inclissolubly linked the increase of 66 the population so that the desire to maintain a given social order clashes against the pressure of the people (described in our time as the proletariat), and social evolution pursues its inexorable and irresistible course. The conclusion of our discussion is that whilst at the end of the i8th century it was thought that society was made for the indi- vidual and it could then be inferred that millions of individuals might and ought to work and suffer for the exclusive advantage of a few other individuals ; at the end of the igth century the positive sciences have proved quite the contrary that it is the individual who lives for the species, and that the latter alone is the eternal reality of life. That is the point of departure of the sociological or social tendency of modern scientific thought as opposed to the exagger- ated individualism left as an heritage by the 1 8th century. Biology shows also that we must not fall into the opposite extreme as certain schools of Utopian socialism and of communism have done and only see society and completely neglect the individual. Another biological law shows us, in fact, that the existence of the aggregate is the resultant of the life of all the individuals, just as the existence of an indi- vidual is the resultant of the life of the cells of which it is composed. We have shown that the socialism which characterises the end of the igth, and which illumines the dawn of this century, is in perfect 6i harmony with the whole current of modern thought. This harmony is even manifested in the fundamental question of the predominence given to the vital exigencies of collective or social solidarity over the dogmatic exaggera- tions of individualism. If this latter marks, at the end of the i8th century, a powerful and fruitful awakening in consequence of pathological manifestations of unbounded competition it inevitably leads to the liber- tarian explosions of anarchism which preaches individual action and which completely forgets human and social solidarity. We thus arrive at the last point of contact and at the intimate union which exists bet ween Darwinism and socialism. CHAPTER VII. ; FOR LIFE " AND THE " CLASS STRUGGLE." Darwinism has proved that all the mechan- ism of animal evolution is reduced to the struggle for existence between individuals of one species, on the one hand, and between different species in the whole world of living beings, on the other. In the same way all the mechanism of social evolution has been reduced by Marxian social- ism to the law of the struggle of the classes. This theory does not give us only the secret motive power and the sole positive explanation of the history of humanity, it give us also the ideal ancj, rigid norm which disciplines politi- cal socialism, and which saves it from the elastic, vaporous, inconclusive uncertainties of sentimental socialism. The history of animal life has only found its positive explanation in the great Darwinian law of the struggle for existence; it alone permits us to determine the natural causes of birth, of evolution and of the disappearance of veget- able and animal species from palseontological times to our days. In the same manner the history of human life only finds its explanation in the great Marxian law of the struggle. of the classes. Thanks to it the annals of primitive humanity, barbarous and civilised, cease from being a capricious and superficial kaleidoscope 63 of individual episodes, and form a grand and fateful drama, determined consciously or unconsciously, in its most intimate details as in its catastrophes by economic conditions, which form the physical and indispensable basis of life, and by the struggle of the classes to conquer and preserve the economic forces on which all the others necessarily depend political, juridical, and moral. I shall have an opportunity when studying the relations of sociology and socialism of speaking more at length of this great concep- tion which is the imperishable glory of Marx and which secures for him in sociology the place that Darwin occupies in biology and Spencer in natural philosophy. For the moment it is sufficient for me to note a new point of contrast between Darwinism and socialism. The expression, " struggle of classes," so antipathetic at the first sound (and I confess that I felt this impression when I had not yet seized the scientific spirit of the Marxian theory) gives us, if we understand it exactly, the first law of human history and, therefore, it alone can give us the certain norm of the coming of the new phase of evolution which socialism foresees and which it endeavours to hasten. Struggle of the classes that is to say, that human society like all other living organisms is not a homogeneous whole, the sum of a number, more or less great, of individuals ; it is, on the contrary, a living organism which is the resultant of different parts and always 6 4 more or less differentiated according as the degree of social evolution is raised. Just as a protozoon is composed almost ex- clusively of albuminous gelatine whilst a mammal is composed of very diverse tissues ; so a chiefless tribe of primitive savages is composed of only a few families whose aggregation results simply from propinquity, whilst a civilised society of an historical or contemporary epoch is composed of social classes which differ one from the other, be it by the physio -psychical constitution of their components, or by the sum of their habits, their tendencies, their personal, family or social life. These different classes can be arranged in a rigorous fashion. In ancient India they go from the Brahman to the Sudra ; in Europe of the middle ages from the Emperor and the Pope to the feudatory, the vassal and the artisan, and an individual cannot pass from one class to the other. Chance of birth alone determines his social condition. It may hap- pen that the legal etiquette will disappear, as it happened in Europe and America after the French Revolution, and exceptionally an in- dividual may find his way from one class to another, as molecules do by exosmosis and endosmosis or, according to the expression of M. Dumont, by a sort of social capillarity. But in all cases these different classes- exist as an assured reality, and they will resist every attempt at levelling by laws as long as the fundament reason for their difference remains. 65 Karl Marx has proved the truth of this theory better than anyone else, by the mass of sociological observations which he has taken from the most diverse economic conditions. The names, the circumstances, the pheno- mena of conflict can vary with each ofjthe phases of social evolution, but the tragic basis of history always appears in the anta- gonism between those who keep the monopoly of the means of production and they are the minority and those who are dispossessed of them and these are the majority. Warriors and shepherds, in primitive societies, as soon as the family, and then the individual appropriation of the land is substituted for primitive collectivism, patricians and plebeians feudatories and vassals nobles and common people bourgeois and proletarians; these are all so many manifestations of the same fact ; the monopoly of wealth on the one side and productive work on the other. Now, the great importance of the Marxian law the class struggle consists chiefly in this, that it indicates with great precision of what the vital point of the social question really consists and by what method we can succeed in solving it. As long as the economic basis of political, legal, and moral life had not been demon- strated by positive evidence, the aspirations of most men towards a social amelioration were directed vaguely to the demand for, and the partial conquest of, some accessory means, such as freedom of worship, political suffrage, public instruction, etc., and certainly I have no wish 66 to deny the great utility of these conquests. But the sancta sanctorum always remained impenetrable to the eyes of the crowd, and as economic power continued to be the privilege of the few, all the conquests, all the concessions, were without real basis, separated as they were from the solid and fructifying foundation which can alone give life and durable force. Now that socialism has shown, even before Marx, but never with so much scientific pre- cision, that individual appropriation, private ownership of land and of the means of pro- duction, is the vital point of the question, the problem is laid down in precise terms in the consciousness of contemporary humanity. What method must be employed to abolish this monopoly of economic power and the mass of pains and evils, of hatred and iniquity, which is the result of it ? The method of the "class struggle" setting out from this positive datum that each class tends to preserve and increase the advantages and privileges acquired, teaches the class deprived of economic power that in order to conquer it, the struggle (we will concern our- selves farther on with the mode of this struggle) must be a struggle of class against class and not of person against person. Hatred, the death of such or such in- dividual belonging to the governing class, does not advance by one step the solution of the problem. It rather retards it because it provokes a reaction in public feeling against personal violence, and it violates the prin- ciple of respect for the human being which 6 7 socialism proclaims aloud for the benefit of all and against all opponents. The solution of the problem does not become easier because the existing abnormal conditions which be- comes more and more acute misery of the masses and enjoyment of the few is not the result of the ill will of such or such an individual. On this side again socialism is, in fact, in complete accord with positive science, which denies the free will of man and sees in human activity, individual and collective, a necessary effect, determined at the same time by conditions of race and environment.* Crime, suicide, madness, misery, are not the fruit of free will, of the individual fault, as metaphysical spiritualism believes ; and it is no more a result of free will, a fault of the individual capitalist, if the workman is badly paid, if he is without work, if he is miserable. All social phenomena are the necessary resultants of historic conditions and of en- vironment. In the modern world the facility and the greater frequency of intercourse between all parts of the earth have drawn still closer the dependence of every action * Separating myself from the two exclusive arguments that civilisation is a consequence of race or a product of the environment, I have always maintained by my theory of the natural factors of criminality that it is the resultant of the combined action of race and environment. Amongst the recent works which maintain the argument of the exclusive or predominant influence of race must be mentioned Le Bon, The Psychology of Peoples, London, 1899. This work is, however, rather superficial. I refer for a more detailed examination of these two arguments to the fourth chapter of my book, Omicidio nell' antro- Pologia criminale, Turin, 1894. 68 economic, political, legal, moral, artistic or scientific on the most distant and most indirect conditions of earthly life. The present organisation of private owner- ship without any limit to family inheritance and personal accumulation ; the continual and always more complete application of scientific discoveries to men's work in the transformation of matter, the telegraph and steam, the always extending migrations of men cause the existence of a family of peasants, of workmen, of small tradesmen, to be united by invisible but tenacious threads to the life of the world, and the crop of coffee, of cotton, or of corn in the most distant countries has its effect on all parts of the civilised world, just as the decrease or increase of solar spots forms a co- efficient of periodical agricultural crises and directly influences the lot of millions of men. This grand scientific conception of "the unity of physical forces " according to the expression of P. Secchi, or of universal solidarity, throws far from it the childish conception which makes free will and the individual the cause of human phenomena. If a socialist proposed, even for a philan- thropic object, to equip a factory for giving work to the unemployed, and if he produced articles abandoned by fashion and general consumption, he would soon be brought to bankruptcy by an inevitable consequence of economic laws in spite of his philanthropic intentions. Or if a socialist wished to give the work- 6 9 people of his establishment wages two or three times higher than the current rate, he would evidently meet with the same fate, because he would meet with the same economic laws and he would be obliged to sell his goods at a loss or keep them unsold in his shops owing to his price for equal qualities being higher than the market rate. He would be declared a bankrupt, and the world would bring him no other consolation than the epithet of worthy man, and, in this phase of " commercial morality,"* we know what this expression signifies. Beyond the personal relations more or less cordial between capitalists and workers, their respective economic condition is inevitably determined by the present organisation, according to the law of surplus value which has allowed Marx to explain in an irrefutable manner how the capitalist can accumulate riches without working because the workman produces in his day's work an equivalent of wealth greater than the wages received, and the surplus of the product forms the gratuitous profit of the capitalist, even if one deducts the salary for his technical and administrative management. The land left to sun and rain does not produce by itself corn or wine. The minerals * I make use of the expression "commercial morality" which M. Letourneau has employed in his book on L'tvolution de la morale, Paris, 1887. In his positive study of facts concerning morality, M. Letourneau has distinguished four phases animal morality, savage morality, barbarian morality, commercial or bourgeois morality ; to these phases will succeed a phase of superior morality which Malon had called social morality. 70 do not come forth by themselves from the bowels of the earth. A bag of crowns shut up in a strong box does not produce crowns as a cow does calves. The production of wealth results only from a transformation of matter wrought by human labour. And it is only because the peasant cultivates the land, that the miner extracts minerals, that the workman sets machines in motion, that the chemist makes experiments in his laboratory, that the engineer invents machines, that the capitalist or the landlord, although the wealth inherited from his father has cost him no work and no effort if he is an absentee, can each year enjoy riches that others have produced for him in exchange for a miserable home, insufficient food, very often poisoned by vapours of rivers or marshes, by the gases of mines, and by the dust of factories in a word for a wage which is always insufficient to secure them an existence worthy of a human being. Even under a regime of fully developed small farming* which has been called a form of practical socialism the question always arises by what miracle the landlord, who does not work, sees corn, oil, and wine arrive in his house in sufficient quantities to enable him to live comfortably, whilst the farmer is forced * [The system here indicated is the metayer which John Stuart Mill defined as that under which "the labourer or peasant makes his engagement directly with the land- owner, and pays, not a fixed rent, either in money or in kind, but a certain proportion of the produce, or rather of what remains of the produce after deducting what is considered necessary to keep up the stock." cf. Mill's Political Economy, bk. ii., chap. viii. ED.] 71 to work daily in order to wrest from the land that which enables him and his family to live miserably. And small farming gives him at least the tranquilising assurance that he will reach the end of the year without experiencing all the terrors of the enforced slack season to which the workers not properly belonging to the country and the workers of the town are condemned. But at the bottom the problem remains in its entirety, and there is always a man who lives in comfort without working, because ten others live miserably whilst working.* Such is the working of private property and such are its effects without any intervention of the will of individuals. Also, every attempt made against such or such individual is condemned to remain sterile : it is the basis of society that must be changed, it is individual property that must be abolished, not by a division which would lead to the most acute and paltry form of private property, because a year afterwards the persistence of the 'individualist aspect would lead us to the status quo ante, to the exclusive benefit of the most crafty and least scrupulous. * Certain persons still imbued with political artificial- ism think that to solve the social question the system of small farming must be generalised. They imagine with- out putting it into words, a royal or presidential decree : Clause i. All men shall become farmers ! And they do not think that if small farming, which was the rule, is become the more and more rare excep- tion, it must be~the necessary effect of natural causes. The cause of the change lies in the fact that small 7 2 We must attain to the abolition ol private property and to the establishment of collec- tive and social property in the land and the means of production. This substitution cannot be the subject of a decree as people suppose us to intend ; but it is being accom- plished under our eyes each day, from hour to hour, directly or indirectly. Directly because civilisation shows us the continuous substitution of social possessions and functions for individual possessions and functions. Roads, the Post Office, railways, museums, the lighting of towns, drinking water, instruction, etc., which were only a few years ago private possessions and functions, have become social possessions and functions, and it would be absurd to imagine that this direct advance of socialism ought to stop short to-day instead of progressively empha- sising itself, since everything in modern life moves with accelerating speed. Indirectly because it is the point to which economic and bourgeois individualism tends. The bourgeoisie, which borrows its name from the inhabitants of the boroughs which the feudal castle and the churches protected farming represents the petty agricultural industry, and that it cannot struggle against the big agricultural indus- try well furnished with machines, just as handwork has not been able to resist the great manufacturing industries. It is true that there are still to-day handicrafts in a few villages, but these are rudimentary organs which only represent a former phase, and which have no decisive function in the economic world. They are like the rudi- mentary organs of the higher animals, according to the theory of Darwin witnesses to epochs for ever passed. The same Darwinian and economic law applies to small farming, itself evidently destined for the same end as handicrafts. 73 symbols of the class then dominant is the result of fruitful labour, conscious of what it was aiming at, and of historic conditions that have changed the economic trend of the world (the discovery of America, for instance). It made its revolution at the end of the i8th century and acquired power. In the history of the civilised world it has written a golden page by its national epics and by its marvel- lous applications of science to industry ; but to-day it is wandering over the descending curve of the parabola, and certain symptoms point out to us its coming dissolution. Without its disappearance, moreover, the establishment of a new social phase will not be possible. Economic individualism, carried to its last consequences, necessarily causes the pro- gressive augmentation of property in the hands of an increasingly restricted number of persons. The millionaire is a new word which characterises the igth century, and it is the clear impression of this phenomenon in which Henry George saw the historic law of individualism which causes the rich to be- come more and more rich and the poor more and more poor.** Now it is evident that the more restricted is the number of those who hold the land and the means of production, the easier is their expropriation with or without indem- nity for the advantage of a single proprietor who is, and who can only be, the community. The land is the physical basis of the social organism. U is then absurd that it should * Henry George, Progress and Poverty, London, 1887. 74 belong to a few and not to the whole social body ; it would not be more absurd if the air we breathe were the monopoly of a few proprietors. That is indeed the supreme aim of socialism, but we can evidently not attain it by aiming at this or that landlord, this or that capitalist. The method of the individualist struggle is destined to remain sterile, or at least it exacts an immense waste of forces to obtain only partial and provisional results. Also, those politicians who carry on their business of daily or anecdotic protest, who only see a struggle of individuals, and whose work is without effect on the public or on assemblies who become accustomed to it, have on me the effect of fantastic hygienists, who would try to render a marsh habitable by killing the mosquitoes one by one with a revolver, instead of adopting the method and aim of rendering healthy the pestilential marsh. No personal struggles, no personal violence, but a class struggle. The immense army of workers of all trades and all professions must be made conscious of these fundamental truths. We must show them that their class interests are in opposition to the interests of the class which holds the economic power, and it is by class conscious organisation that they will conquer this economic power by means of other public powers which contemporary civilisation has secured to free peoples. One can, however, foresee that in every country the dominant class before yielding will diminish 75 or destroy even those public liberties which were without danger when they were in the hands of workmen not formed into a class party, but at the tail of other purely political parties which are as radical in secondary questions as they are profoundly conservative on the fundamental question of the economic organisation of property. The class struggle is, therefore, a struggle of class against class, and a struggle, of course, by the methods of which I shall shortly speak when dealing with the four modes of social transformation : evolution revolution re- volt personal violence. But it is a struggle of class in the Darwinian sense which renews in the history of man the grand drama of the struggle for life among the species instead of debasing ourselves to the savage and insig- nificant fight of one individual with another. We can stop here. The examination of the relations between Darwinism and socialism might lead us much farther, but it would always eliminate the supposed contradiction there is between the two currents of modern, scientific thought, and it would affirm on the contrary the intimate, natural and indissoluble agreement there is between the two. It is thus that the penetrating eye of Virchow found a confirmation in Leopold Jacoby. "The same year when Darwin's book appeared (1859), and setting out from /juite a different direction, an identical impulse was given to~ a very important development of social science by a work which passed 7 6 unperceived for a long time, and which bore for title : Criticism on Political Economy, by Karl Marx it was the precursor of Capital. "What Darwin's book on the Origin of Species is for the genesis and evolution of unconscious nature up to man, the work of Marx is for the genesis and evolution of the community of human beings, of States, and of the social forms of humanity."* And that is why Germany, which has been the most fruitful field for the development of Darwinian theories, has been the same for the conscious, disciplined propaganda of socialist ideas. And that is precisely why at Berlin in the libraries of socialist propaganda the works of Charles Darwin occupy the place of honour beside those of Karl Marx.| * L. Jacoby, L'Idea dell' evoluzione in Bibliotheca dell' economista, series III., vol. ix., part 2, p. 69. t At the death of Darwin the Sozialdemokrat of 27 April, 1882, wrote : "The proletariat which is struggling for its emancipation will always honour the memory of Charles Darwin." I know that in the last few years, perhaps in conse- quence of the relations between Darwinism and social- ism, the objections made to Darwin's theory by Ncegeli have been taken up again, and more recently by Weissmann on the hereditary transmissibility of acquired characteristics. But all that only concerns this or that detail of Darwinism, whilst the fundamental theory of organic transformism remains unshaken. PART II. CHAPTER VIII. EVOLUTION AND SOCIALISM. The theory of universal evolution, which apart from this or that detail more or less debatable really characterises the vital trend of modern scientific thought, has also appeared to be in absolute contradiction to the theories and practical ideals of socialism. Here the equivocation is evident. If we mean by socialism this vague complexus of sentimental aspirations so many times crystallised in artificial Utopian creations of a new human world, which by a magical power was to substitute itself in one day for the world in which we live, then it is perfectly true that the 'scientific theory of evolution condemns the prejudices and illusions of political artificialism, always romantic whether reactionary or revolutionary. But, unfortunately for our adversaries, con- temporary socialism is quite another thing from the socialism that preceded the work of Marx. Beyond the same sentiment of protest against present iniquities and of aspirations towards a better future there is nothing in common between the two socialisms, either in their logical structure or in their inductions, 7 8 unless it be the clear vision, mathematically exact (and that indeed by virtue of the theories of evolution), of the final social organism based on the collective ownership of land and the means of production. That is what will result very clearly from the examination of the three principal contra- dictions which it has been thought could be raised between socialism and scientific evolution. Henceforth it is impossible not to see the direct relation of Marxian socialism to scientific evolution, when it is understood that the former is only the logical and conse- quential application of the theory of evolution in the economic domain. CHAPTER IX. THE ORTHODOX ARGUMENT AND THE SOCIALIST ARGUMENT IN THE LIGHT OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. What does socialism in substance say? That the present economic world cannot be unchangeable and eternal, that it only represents a transitory phase of social evolution, and that a future phase, a world otherwise organised, ought to succeed it. That this new organisation must be collec- tivist or socialist and no longer individualist, that is what is derived as a final and positive conclusion from the examination we have made of Darwinism and socialism. I must now prove that this fundamental affirmation of socialism leaving on one side all the details of future organisation of which I will speak further on is in perfect harmony with the experimental theory of evolution. On what point are orthodox political economy and socialism at complete variance ? Political economy has maintained, and maintains, that the laws of the production and distribution of wealth are natural laws, not in the sense that they are laws naturally determined by the conditions of the social organism (which would be correct), but that they are absolute laws, that is to say, that they are suitable to humanity for all time and all places, and consequently that they are unchangeable in their chief character- istics, though they may be susceptible to modifications in detail. 8o Scientific socialism maintains, on the con- trary, that the laws established by classic, political economy, since Adam Smith, are laws suitable to the present historic period of the civilised world, that consequently they are laws essentially relative to the [time in which they have been analysed ; further, that just as they no longer correspond with the facts if one wishes to extend them to the historic past, and still more to pre-historic and ante-historic times, so they cannot have a claim to petrify the social future. Of these two fundamental arguments, the orthodox argument and the socialist argument, which is the one that best accords with the scientific theory of universal evolution ? The answer cannot be doubtful. The theory of evolution of which Herbert Spencer is the real author, in applying to sociology the relativist tendency which the historic school had followed in the study of law and politics (already heterodox on more than one point), has shown that everything changes, that the present, in the astronomical, geological, biological, sociological order, is only the resultant of many thousand trans- formations, natural, necessary, incessant that the present differs from the past, and that the future will certainly be different from the present. Spencerism has done nothing but bring an enormous number of scientific proofs in all branches of human knowledge to these two abstract thoughts of Leibnitz and Hegel : 8i "the present is the son of the past but it is the father of the future," and "nothing is, every- thing is becoming." Already geology since Lyell had made this demonstration, in sub- stituting for the traditional conception of cataclysms, the scientific conception of the gradual and daily transformation of the earth. It is true that, in spite of his encylopaedic knowledge, Herbert Spencer has not thoroughly studied political economy, or that at least he has not given his proofs as in the natural sciences. That does not, however, hinder socialism from being, in its fundamental con- ception, only the logical application of the scientific theory of natural evolution to economic phenomena. It is Karl Marx who, in 1859, in his Criticism on Political Economy, and previously, in 1847, in the celebrated Manifesto written in col- laboration with Engels, nearly ten years before the First Principles of Spencer was pub- lished, finally completed in Capital in the social domain the scientific revolution com- menced by Darwin and Spencer. Ancient metaphysics ' conceives morality law, economics, as a collection of absolute and eternal laws as Plato understood them. It only takes into consideration the historic world, and has as an instrument of research only the logical imagination of the philo- sopher. The generations which preceded us have been imbued with this idea of absolute natural laws struggling in the dualism of matter andjnind. Positive science, on the contrary, starts from the grand synthesis of 82 monism, that is to say, of the sole phenomenal reality, matter and force being recognised as inseparable and indestructible, developing themselves in a continued movement, assum- ing successively forms relative to time and place. It has radically changed the trend of modern thought and has directed it towards universal evolution. Morality, law, politics are only super- structures, effects of the economic structure, they vary with it from one clime to another, from one century to another century. This is the great discovery which Karl Marx has set forth in his Criticism on Political Economy. I will examine later what is this sole source of economic conditions, but now I am concerned with pointing out their continued variability from the prehistoric epoch to the historic epoch and in the different periods of the latter. Rules of morals, religious beliefs, legal, civil, and penal institutions, political or- ganisation ; everything changes and every- thing is relative to the historic and material environment which one is considering. To kill one's parents is the greatest of crimes in Europe and America ; it is, on the contrary, a duty which religion sanctifies in the island of Sumatra. Similarly, cannibalism is still permitted in Central Africa, and it was equally permitted in Europe and America in prehistoric times. The family is at first (as with animals) only a sexual communism ; polyandry and a matriarchate established themselves where a scanty food supply only allowed a small increase in the population ; we find polygamy and a patriarchate at the time and in the place where this fundamental economic reason does not rule tyrannically. With historic times appears the best and most advanced form, monogamy, although that still needs to be delivered from the absolutist conventionalism of the indissoluble bond and of the prostitution disguised and legalised (for economic reasons) which sullies it in our epoch. Why claim that the constitution of property ought to remain eternally what it is now, un- changeable in the midst of this gigantic current of social institutions, and of moral rules subject to continued and profound evolutions and transformations? Property alone should be subjected to no change, and should remain petrified in its form of private monopoly of the land and of the means of production ! Such is the absurd claim of economic and legal orthodoxy. To the irresistible state- ments of the theory of evolution only this single concession has been made: the accessory rules may vary, the abuses may be diminished. The principle itself is not to be touched, and a few individuals may appropriate for them- selves the land and the means of production necessary for the life of the whole social organism, which thus remains for ever under the domination, more or less direct, of these holders of the physical basis of life.* * The partisans and opponents of free will are in exactly the same position. Ancient metaphysics granted to man (the unique 8 4 It suffices to state precisely the two funda- mental theses the theses of classic law and economics and the thesis of economic and juridical socialism to decide thus without further discussion this first point of the controversy : in all cases the theory of evolution is in perfect, incontestable agree- ment with the inductions of socialism, and it is, on the contrary, in opposition to the affirmations of those who believe in economic and juridical fixity. marvellous exception in the whole universe) absolute free will. Modern physio-psychology refuses to man every kind of free will in the name of the laws of natural causation. There are found in an intermediate position those who, tvhilst recognising that the free will of man is not abso- lute, maintain that we must at least admit a little free will because, otherwise, there is neither merit nor demerit, virtue, nor vice, etc. I dealt with this question in my first work : Teoria dell' imputabilitd e negazione de libero arbitrio (Florence, 1878, out of print), and in chap. iii. of my Criminal Sociology. I only mention it here to show that even in the eco- nomic social question, the struggle presents itself in the same conditions, and that one can, therefore, predict a similar, final solution. The true Conservative inspired with metaphysical tradition keeps to the ancient moral or economic ideas in all their absolutism : he is at least logical. The determinist, in the name of science, holds ideas diametrically opposed in the domain of psychology as in that of the economic or legal sciences. The eclectic, in politics as in psychology, in political economy as in law, is at bottom a Conservative, but he thinks he evades difficulties because he makes some partial concessions and saves appearances. But if eclecticism is an attitude personally convenient, it is like hybridism, sterile, and neither life nor science owes it anything. Thus socialists logically claim that the political parties are after all two in number : individualists (conservatives, progressives, radicals) and socialists. CHAPTER X. THE LAW OF APPARENT RETROGRESSION AND COLLECTIVE PROPERTY. Let us admit, say our opponents, that in demanding a social transformation socialism is in apparent accord with the theory of evolution, yet it does not follow that its positive conclusions notably the substitution of social property for individual property are justified by this same theory. Much more, they add, we maintain that these conclusions are in absolute opposition to this very theory and that they are consequently, at least, Utopian and absurd. Socialism and evolutionism would first be in opposition in that the return to collective property of the land would at the same time be a return to the primitive, savage stage of humanity, and socialism would indeed be a change, but a change the wrong way, that is to say against the current of social evolution which has brought us from the primitive collective ownership of the land to the present individual ownership, which is a characteristic of an advanced civilisation. Socialism would then be a return to barbarism. This objection contains a portion of truth which cannot be denied : it justly notes that collective property would be a return, apparently, to the primitive social organisa- tion. But the conclusion which is drawn is absolutely false and unscientific because it takes no account of a law very generally neglected, but which is neither less true nor less certain than social evolution. 86 There is a sociological law which a French doctor of repute has indicated in studying the relations of transformism and socialism.* I have shown the truth and the importance of this in my Criminal Sociology before becom- ing a militant socialist and I have again recently insisted upon it in my controversy with M. Morselli on divorce.| This law of apparent retrogression shows that the reversion of social institutions to primitive forms and characteristics is a con- stant fact. Before setting forth some evident illustra- tions of this law, I will recall the fact that M. Cognetti de Martiis, already in 1881, had had a vague glimpse of this sociological law. His work Forme primitive nelV evoluzione economica (Turin 1881) so remarkable for the abund- ance, the precision and the exactness of the facts set forth, gave a glimpse in fact of the possibility of the reappearance in the future economic evolutions of the primitive forms which marked its starting point. I remember also often to have heard Carducci, in his lessons at the University of Bologna, affirm that ultimate progress of the forms and subject matter of literature is often only the reproduction of the forms and the subject-matter of primitive Graeco-Oriental literature ; similarly the modern scientific theory of monism, the very soul of universal evolution and the representative of the latest * L. Dramard, Transformisme et socialisme, in the Revue socialiste, January and February, 1885. t Divorzio e sociologia in the Scuola positiva nella giurisprudenza penale, Rome, 1893, No. 16. 87 positive and definite discipline of human thought confronting external reality, suc- ceeding the brilliant wandering of meta- physics, is only a reversion to the ideas of Greek philosophers and of Lucretius, the great naturalistic poet. The examples of this reversion to primitive forms are only too evident and too numerous even in the order of social institutions. I have already spoken of religious evolution. According to Hartmann, in the primitive times of humanity happiness seemed realisable in the existence of the individual. It did not appear to be so later except in the life beyond the tomb, and now the tendency is to carry it back to humanity, but in the series of future generations. It is the same in the political domain, and Spencer remarks* that the will of all the sovereign element in primitive humanity-r- yields little by little to the will of one, then to those of a few (these are the different aris- tocracies, military, hereditary, professional, feudal), and it tends finally to become sovereign with the progress of democracy, universal suffrage, referendum, direct legislation by the people, etc. The right to punish, a simple function of defence in primitive humanity, tendsito become such again. It has freed itself from every teleological pretension of distributive justice which the illusion of free will had superposed on the natural foundation of defence. Scientific researches into crime, as a natural * Sociology III. chapter 5. 8* and social phenomenon, have shown to-day how absurd and illegitimate was the preten- sion of the legislator and the judge to weigh and measure the " fault " of the delinquent in order that the punishment might be an exact counterpoise, instead of contenting themselves with excluding from civil society temporarily or perpetually those individuals who cannot adapt themselves to its necessities, as one does with lunatics or those afflicted with con- tagious diseases. The same with marriage. The free right of dissolution which was recognised in primitive society has been gradually replaced by the absolute formulae of theology and spiritualism which imagine that " free will " can fix the destiny of a person by a monosyllable pro- nounced at a moment of such unstable psychical equilibrium as is the period of betrothal and marriage. Later, the reversion to the spontaneous and primitive form of consent is imposed and the matrimonial union with the custom continually more frequent and easy of divorce returns to its origin and gives to the family, that is to say to the social cell, a healthier constitution. This same phenomenon is established in property. Spencer himself has been forced to recognise that there was a fatal tendency to a reversion to a primitive collectivism when the appropriation of the land, at first for the family then for industrial purposes as he has himself shown, has attained its culminating point, so that in certain countries (Torrens Act in Australia) the land has become a sort of personal property transmissible, like the shares of a joint stock company. Here is what an individualist like Herbert Spencer writes as a conclusive argument: "At first sight it seems fairly inferable that the absolute ownership of land by private persons must be the ultimate state which industrialism brings about. But though industrialism has thus far tended to individualise possession of land, while indivi- dualising all other possession, it maybe doubted tvhether the final stage is at present reached. Ownership established by force does not stand on the same footing as ownership established by contract ; and though multiplied sales and purchases, treating the two ownerships in the same way, have tacitly assimilated them, the assimilation may eventually be denied. The analogy furnished by assumed rights of possession over human beings helps us to recognise this possibility. For while prisoners of war, taken by force and held as property in a vague way (being at first much on a footing with other members of a household), were reduced more definitely to the form of property when the buying and selling of slaves became general ; and while it might, centuries ago, have been thence inferred that the ownership of man by man was an ownership in course of being permanently established ;* yet we see that a later stage of civilisation, reversing this process, has destroyed ownership of man by * It is known that Aristotle, taking for an absolute sociological law a law relative to his time, affirmed that slavery was a natural institution, and that men were distinguished by nature as free men and slaves. 90 man. Similarly, at a stage still more ad- vanced, it may be that private ownership of land will disappear."* Besides, this process of the socialisation of property, although partial and accessory, is so evident and continuous that it would be denying what is an actual fact to maintain that the economic and consequently the juridical tendency of the organisation of property is not in the direction of an ever greater augmentation of the interests and rights of the aggregate of individuals over those of the single individual : this prepon- deratering tendency of to-day will replace completely, by an inevitable process of evolu- tion, the ownership of land and the means of production. The fundamental thesis of socialism is then, to repeat it once more, in perfect accord with * Spencer, Principles of Sociology, vol. 2, part 5, chap. 15. This idea which Spencer had expressed in 1850 in his Social Statics is found again in his recent work, Justice, chapter xi., appendix B. It is true that he has made a step backwards. He thinks that the amount of the indemnity to be given to the present owners of the land would be so great that it would render almost impossible the nationalisation of the land, which, in 1881, Henry George considered as the only remedy, and which Glad- stone had the courage to propose as a solution of the Irish question. Spencer adds, " I adhere to the inference originally drawn, that the aggregate of men forming the community are the supreme owners of the land an infer- ence harmonising with legal doctrine, and daily acted upon in legislation a fuller consideration of the matter has led me to the conclusion that individual ownership, subject to State-suzerainty, should be maintained." The "fuller study" which Spencer has made in Justice (and in parenthesis this work constitutes with his Positive and Negative Benevolence [Parts V. and VI. of The Principles of Ethics, vol. ii. ED.], a mournful document of senile involved reasoning from which even Mr. H. Spencer has not been able to escape ; in addition, his subjective dryness 91 this sociological law of apparent retrogression , the natural causes of which M. Loria has admirably analysed : Primitive humanity borrows from surrounding nature the funda- mental and most simple lines of its thought and life ; then the progress of intelligence and complexity, increasing by a law of evolution, gives us an analytical development of the principal elements contained in the first germs of each institution ; this analytical develop- ment is often, once it is finished, antagonistic to each of the elements ; humanity itself, having reached a certain stage of evolution, recomposes in a final synthesis these different forms a strange contrast to the marvellous wealth of posi- tive ideas in his first works) is founded on two arguments, (i) the present landowners are not the direct descendants of the first conquerors : they have acquired their properties generally by free contract ; (2) Society would have a right to the ownership of the virgin soil, as it was before the clearing, the improvements, the buildings made by private owners : the indemnity which ought to be paid for these improvements would mount to an enormous figure. We must answer that the first argument would hold good if socialism proposed to punish the present landowners, but the question is put otherwise : society recognises the dispossession of holders of land as of "public benefit," the individual right must bow to the social right, as happens, moreover, at present, whilst reserving the ques- tion of indemnity. In order to answer the second question we must not forget that the improvements are not the exclusive work of the personal activity of the landowners. There is first the enormous accumulation of labour and blood which numerous generations of workers, for the benefit of others, have left on the soil to put it in its present state of culture ; there is also this fact that society itself, social life, has been a large co-efficient of these improvements since the good state of the public roads, railways, the use of machines in agriculture, etc., have procured for landowners important increments, free of cost to them, in the value of their lands. Why then, iLwe consider the amount and the form of the indemnity, should this indemnity be total and absolute ? But even to-day if a landowner in consequence of diverse 9 , elements and thus returns to its primitive point of departure.! This return to the primitive form is not, however, a repetition pure and simple. So we call it the law of apparent retrogression and that takes away all value from the objection of the "return to primitive barbarism." It is not a repetition pure and simple, but the end of a cycle, of a great rhythm, as M. Asturaro recently said, which cannot but preserve the effects and conquests of the long prior evolution in what they possess of vitality and fruitfulness, and the final outcome is far superior, in its objective reality and its effect on the human mind, to the primitive embryo which it resembles. The course of social evolution is not repre- sented by a closed circle, which, like the serpent of the ancient symbol, cuts off all hope of a better future ; but according to the image of Goethe, it is represented by a spiral which seems to come back on itself but which always advances and rises. circumstances, of memories associated with his land, for example, values it at a sentimental price, would he not be forced to give it up without being able to exact payment of this sentimental price? It will be the same with the collective dispossession which, moreover, is facilitated by the progressive concentration of land in the hands of a few large landowners. It will suffice to secure to these landowners during their days a comfortable and tranquil life in order that the indemnity should answer to all the exigencies of the most rigorous equity. t Loria, The Economic Basis of Society. This law of apparent retrogression is sufficient to answer the greater number of the rather too superficial criticisms which M. Guyot makes on socialism in The Tyranny of Socialism, London, 1894. CHAPTER XI. SOCIAL EVOLUTION AND INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. The conclusion of the preceding chapter will be of use to us in examining the second contradiction which it is held exists between socialism and the theory of evolution. It is affirmed and repeated in every way that socialism forms a tyranny of a new kind which will destroy all the benefits of the liberty so painfully won in our century at the price of so many sacrifices and so many martyrs. I have already shown in speaking of anthropological inequalities that socialism will on the contrary secure to all individuals the conditions of human existence, and the possibility of developing their own personality more freely and more completely. It will suffice for me here to recall another law which the scientific theory of evolution has established, to prove (because I cannot in this monograph enter into the details) that it is wrong to suppose that the advent of social- ism will result in the suppression of the living and fructifying part of personal and political liberty. It is a law of natural evolution remarkably illustrated by M. Ardigo,* that no subsequent phase of natural and social evolution destroys the vital and fructifying manifestations of preceding phases, but on the contrary, that it continues their existence in so far as they are vital and eliminate only the pathological manifestations. * Ardig6, La formazione naturale, vol. H. of his opere filosofiche, Padua, 1887. 94 In biological evolution the manifestations of vegetable life do not efface the first dawn of life which is already seen in the crystallisation of minerals, anymore than the manifestations of animal life efface those of vegetable life. The human form of life also leaves in existence the forms and links which precede it in the great series of living beings, but much more do the later developed forms live in proportion to whether they are the product of primitive forms, and co- exist with them. Social evolution follows the same law, and this is precisely the interpretation which scientific evolutionism gives of the transition times. They do not eliminate the conquests of preceding civilisation, but, on the contrary, they preserve the vital part of them and fructify them for the new birth of a fresh civilisation. This law which governs the grand develop- ment of social life, rules equally the destiny and the course of all social institutions. One phase of social evolution in succeeding another eliminates, it is true, the non-vital parts, the pathological products of preceding institutions, but it preserves and develops the healthy and fructifying parts whilst it always raises higher the physical and moral diapason of humanity. By this natural process the great river of humanity has come forth from the virgin forests of savage life, has developed majesti- cally in the periods of barbarism and of the present civilisation, superior in certain aspects to the preceding phases of social life, but in 95 many others stained by the very products of its own degeneracy as I have mentioned con- cerning backward social selections. For example, it is certain that the workmen of the contemporary period of bourgeois civilisation have generally a physical and moral existence superior to that of past centuries ; but it cannot, however, be denied that their condition as free wage earners is inferior in more than one point to the condition of the slaves of antiquity and of the serfs of the Middle Ages. The slave of antiquity was, it is true, the absolute property of his master, of the free man, and he was condemned to an almost bestial life ; but it was to the interest of the master to secure to him at least his daily bread, for the slave was part of his patrimony like his oxen and horses. Similarly, the serf of the soil, in the Middle Ages, enjoyed certain customary rights which attached him to the land and secured to him at least except in case of scarcity daily bread. The free wage earner of the modern world, on the contrary, is always condemned to labour not fit for a human being both by its length and its character. This is the justifica- tion for the claim for an eight hours' day, which can already reckon more than one victory, and which is destined to a certain triumph. As no permanent juridical relation connects him either with the capitalist land- lord, or with the land, his daily bread is not secured to him, because the employer has no longer any interest in feeding and maintaining 9 6 the workers in his factory or his field. The death or the illness of the worker can, in fact, bring no diminution of his patrimony, and he can always have recourse to the inexhaus- tible crowd of proletarians which the slack season offers him in the market. This is why not because the present em- ployers are more wicked than those of the past, but because even the moral sentiments are a product of the economic condition the landowner, or the steward of his estate, will hasten to call a veterinary surgeon if the ox in his stall is taken ill, so that he may avoid the loss of so much capital, while he shows no eagerness in having a doctor called if it is his drover's son who is attacked. Certainly there may be (and there are exceptions more or less frequent) a landowner who is a contradiction to this rule, especially when he lives in daily contact with his workers. It cannot be denied further that the rich classes are sometimes troubled with the spirit of beneficence even without the "charity fad,' 1 and that they thus sooth the inward voice of moral uneasiness which troubles them, but the inexorable rule is still this : with the modern form of industry the worker has con- quered political freedom, the right of a vote, of association, etc. (which he is allowed to exercise as long as he does not unite to form a class party which holds an intelligent con- ception of the essential point of the social question) but he has lost the security of his daily bread and his home. Socialism wishes to give this security to all 97 individuals and it proves the mathematical possibility of this by the substitution of the social ownership for the individual ownership of the means of production ; but that does not mean that socialism will cause the disappear- ance of all the useful and truly fructifying conquests of the present or the preceding phases of civilisation. Here is a characteristic example: the inven- tion of industrial and agricultural machines. This marvellous application of science to the transformation of natural forces which ought to have only beneficial consequences, has entailed, and entails still, the misery and ruin of thousands and thousands of workers. The substitution of machines for human labour has inevitably condemned masses of the work- ing classes to the tortures of forced slack seasons and to the hard law of a minimum wage, scarcely sufficient to keep them from dying of hunger. The first instinctive reaction of these un- fortunates has been, and, unhappily, still is, to destroy the machines, and see in them only a means of undeserved damnation. But the destruction of the machines would really be only a pure and simple reversion to barbarism, and that is not the desire of socialism, which represents a higher plane of human civilisation. And this is how socialism alone can solve this melancholy difficulty. Economic indi- vidualism cannot do this by employing always new machines, because therein is an evident and irresistible advantage for the capitalist. 9 8 It is necessary and there is no other solution that the machines should become collective or social property. Then, evidently, they will have no other effect than to diminish the sum total of work and of muscular effort necessary to produce a given quantity of products. And thus each workman will see his daily portion of work diminish, and his existence will continually and increasingly rise to one worthy of a human creature. This effect is already partially established when, for example, several small landowners found co-operative societies for the purchase of machines for thrashing corn. If workmen or peasants came to join the small landowners in a great brotherly co-operation (and this will only be possible when the land shall have become social property), and if the machines were municipal property, for example, like the fire engines, and if the community let them be used for field work, the machines would not have an unhappy repelling effect, and all men would see in them deliverers. It is thus that socialism, because it repre- sents a higher phase of human evolution would only eliminate from the present phase the evil products of our unbridled economic individualism, which creates on the one side millionaires or those contractors who enrich themselves in a few years by possessing them- selves, according to forms more or less fore- seen by the penal code, of public funds, and which on the other side accumulates enormous masses of miserable men in the lowest parts of the great cities or in the houses of straw 99 and mud, which reproduce in the Basilicate, the quarters of the Roman helots, or in the valley of the Po, the Australian aborigines' huts.* No intelligent socialist has ever dreamt of refusing to recognise all that the bourgeoisie has done for human civilisation, or of tearing out the pages of gold that it has written in the history of the civilised world by its national epics, its marvellous applications of science to industry, and by the commercial and intellectual relations it has developed among the nations. These are definitive" conquests of human progress, and socialism no more denies them than it wishes to destroy them. It accords a just tribute of gratitude to the noble pioneers who have realised them. The attitude of socialism with respect to the bourgeoisie might be compared with that of atheists who do not wish to refuse their admiration for, or to destroy a picture of Raphael or a statue of Michael Angelo, because these works of art represent and give the seal of eternity to religious legends. But socialism sees in the present bourgeois civilisation, which has reached its decline, the painful symptoms of an irremediable dissolu- tion, and it claims that the social organism must be delivered from its infectious venom, and that can be done, not by freeing it from such or such a bankrupt, from such or such a * My master, Pietro Ellero, has given in La Tirranide borghese an eloquent description of this social and political pathology as it concerns Italy. TOO corrupt functionary, from such or such a dis- honest contractor but by going to the root of the evil, to the uncontestable source of virulent infection. By radically transforming the regime by the substitution of social owner- ship for private ownership the healthy and vital forces of human society must be renewed, in order that it may rise to a higher phase of civilisation. Then the privileged will cer- tainly not be able to pass their lives in idleness, luxury, and debauchery, and they will have to resolve to lead a laborious and less pompous life : but the immense majority of men will rise to serene dignity, to security, to a happy fraternity, instead of living in the sufferings, the anguish, and the ill will of the present. We can give an analogous answer to the hackneyed objection that socialism will sup- press all liberty this objection repeated to satiety by all those who conceal under the colours of political liberty more or less con- scious tendencies to economic conservatism. Is not this repugnance which many persons, even with good faith, feel towards socialism in the name of liberty, the manifestation of another law of human evolution which Herbert Spencer has thus formulated : " Every progress realised is an obstacle to further progress"? It is indeed a natural, psychological .ten- dency, which one might call " fetich-ist," to refuse to consider the ideal attained, the pro- gress realised as a simple instrument and point of departure for other progress and other ideals, and to stop in "fetichist" adoration IO1 of a point reached which appears to have exhausted every other ideal, every other aspiration. Just the same as the savage adores the fruit tree, from which he receives benefits, for itself and not for the fruits which it can give, and finishes by making a fetich of it, an idol not to be touched, and therefore sterile ; just as the miser who has learnt in our individualist world the value of money, finishes by worship- ping money in itself and for itself like a fetich or an idol, and keeps it hidden in a strong box where it is sterile, instead of using it as a means of procuring for himself fresh pleasures; in the same way the sincere liberal, the son of the French Revolution, has made of liberty an idol which has its end in itself, a sterile fetich, instead of using it as a means for new conquests and to realise new ideals. We can understand that under a regime of political tyranny the first and most urgent ideal may have been the acquisition of liberty and political sovereignty, and we, the last comers, know how to be grateful for this acquisition to the martyrs and heroes who have insisted upon it at the price of their lives. But liberty is not, and cannot be, an end in itself. Who wants the liberty of public meeting or the liberty of thought if his stomach has not its daily bread, and if millions of individuals have their moral force paralysed in conse- quence of bodily and cerebral anaemia ? What is the worth of a platonic participa- tion in political government, the right to vote, 102 if the people are kept slaves to misery, to slack seasons, to sharp or chronic hunger ? Liberty for liberty's sake that is, progress attained opposing itself to progress to come is a sort of political self pollution : it is impotence in face of the fresh necessities of life. Socialism answers that it does not wish to suppress the liberty gloriously acquired by the bourgeois world in 1879 any more than the subsequent phase effaces the conquests of the preceding phases of social evolution, but it wishes that the workers after having acquired a consciousness of the interests and needs of their class should make use of this liberty to realise a more equitable and more humane social organisation. However, it is only too incontestable that, given individual ownership, and therefore the monopoly of economic power, the liberty of him who is not a holder of this monopoly is only an impotent and platonic toy. And when the workers wish to use this liberty with a clear consciousness of their class interests, then the holders of political power are forced to deny the great liberal principles, " the principles of '89," by suppressing all public liberty, and they imagine themselves able thus to arrest the inevitable march of human evolution. It is necessary to say as much of another accusation directed against socialists. " They deny their country," it is said, "in the name of internationalism." That also is false. io 3 The movements of heroic nationalism which in our century have reconquered for Italy and Germany their unity and independence, have been really a great advance, and we are grateful to those who have given us a free country. But our country cannot become an obstacle to the progress to come, to the fraternity of all the peoples, freed from national hatreds which are in reality either the residue of barbarism or a simple theatrical scenery to conceal the interests of capitalism which has known how to realise for itself the greatest internationalism. It was true moral and social progress for us to go beyond the phase of communal wars in Italy and to feel we were all brothers of the same nation ; it will be the same for us when we shall have passed beyond the phase of "patriotic" rivalries, to feel we are all brothers of the same humanity. It is, however, not difficult for us to pene- trate, thanks to the historical key of class interests, into the secret of the contradictions in which the classes in power move. When they form an international league the banker of London, thanks to the telegraph, is master of the market at Pekin, New York, St. Petersburg it is a great advantage for this dominant class to maintain the artificial divisions between the workmen of the whole world, or even only of old Europe, because the division of workmen alone renders possible the maintenance of the power of capitalists. And to attain this end, it is sufficient to io 4 exploit the primitive and savage basis of hatred for a foreigner. But that does not mean that international socialism may not be, even from this point of view, a definite, moral scheme and an in- evitable phase of human evolution. In the same way and in consequence of the same sociological law, it is not true to claim that in constituting collective ownership, socialism will do away with every kind of individual ownership. We must repeat again that one phase of evolution cannot suppress all that has been realised in preceding phases : it only suppresses the manifestations which have ceased to be vital, because they are in contradiction with the new conditions of existence created by the new phases. In substituting for individual property social ownership of the land and means of production, it is evident that the ownership of food necessary for the individual will not have been suppressed, nor that of clothing and objects of personal use which will con- tinue to be articles of individual or family consumption. This form of individual property will then always exist even in a collective regime, because it is necessary and perfectly com- patible with the social ownership of the land, mines, factories, houses, machines, instruments of work and means of transport. Does the collective'ownership of libraries which we are seeing at work under our eyes take away from individuals the personal 105 use of rare or costly books which they could not procure in any other manner, and do not libraries considerably increase the use made of a book compared with what it could render if shut up in the private library of a useless bibliophile ? In the same way the collective ownership of the land and the means of pro- duction, in furnishing to each the use of machines, tools, and land, will only multiply their utility a hundredfold. And it must not be said that when men no longer have the exclusive and transmissible ownership of wealth they will no longer be impelled to work because they will no longer be moved by personal or family interest. We see for example that even in our present individualist world those residues of collective ownership of the land to which Laveleye has so brilliantly called the atten- tion of sociologists continue to be cultivated and yield a rent which is not inferior to that which the lands yield that are held in private ownership, although these agrarian commun- ists or collectivists have only the right of usage and of enjoyment."* * M. Loria, in Economic Basis oj Society, London, 1894, P art i-t proves besides that in a society based on collective ownership egoism of course still remains the principal motive of human actions, but that it thus brings about a social harmony of which it is the worst enemy in an individualist regime. Here is besides a very small but instructive example. The means of transport in the large towns have followed the ordinary process of progressive socialisation : first, everyone went on foot, as an exception only a few rich persons could have horses and carriages ; later the car- riages were put at the service of the public with a tariff (the fiacres, which have been used in Paris for more than io6 If a few of these remains of collective ownership are disappearing, or if their ad- ministration is bad, that cannot be an argu- ment against socialism, because it is easy to understand that in the present economic organisation, based on absolute individualism, these organisms cannot find a medium which furnishes them with the conditions of a possible existence.! It is like wishing a fish to live out of water a century and which took their name from St. Fiacre because the first carriage was stationed under his image) ; then this tariff being very high brought about a further socialisation through omnibuses and tramways. One step more and the socialisation will be complete. Let the service of carriages, omnibuses, tramways, etc., become municipal and everyone will be able to use them freely as they now use the electric light. It will be the same with a national public service of railways. But then this is the individualist objection everyone will want to go in a carriage or in a tramway, and the service having to satisfy all, will please none. That is not exact. If the transformation were to be made suddenly, this consequence might take place in a transitory fashion. But already a partial or complete free transport exists in a certain measure on railways for members of certain associations, on tramways for post- men and telegraphists. It also seems to us that everyone will want to go in a tramway because now the impossibility of enjoying this mode of locomotion brings with it the desire of forbidden fruit. But when there is freedom to enjoy it (and one could if necessary limit the right to this) another egoisti- cal impulse will come into play, the physiological need of walking, especially for well-nourished persons, and after sedentary work. And that is how individual egoism in this little example of collective ownership would act in harmony with social necessities. t I occupied myself with this problem from the socialist point of view in my address to the Chamber of Deputies on i3th May, 1894. Propriety colletiva e lotta di classe (e polemica con M. R. Imbriani), Milan, 1894. or a mammal in an atmosphere deprived of oxygen. They are the same considerations that condemn to a certain death all those famous experiments of socialist, communist or anarchist communities which people have attempted to establish in different places as " experiments in socialism." People do not seem to have understood that such experiments must inevitably fail, obliged as they are to develop themselves in an individualist economic and moral environment which cannot supply them with the conditions of physiological development to be found, on the contrary, when the whole social organisa- tion has been collectively arranged, that is to say when society is socialised. * At this moment the psychological indi- vidual tendencies and aptitudes will adapt themselves to their environment. It is natural that in an individualist environment of free competition in which each individual sees in the other, if not an enemy, at least a com- petitor, anti -social egoism must be the tendency which inevitably develops most, by necessity of the instinct of personal preser- vation, especially in the last phases of a civilisation which seems driven with full steam if it is compared with the pacific and slow individualism of past centuries. * One can thus understand how unsubstantial is the current reasoning of the opponents of socialism which M. Mas6-Dari has gone over in // socialismo, Turin, 1890, 9 : the failure of communistic or socialistic com- munities is a proof from actual fact of " the instability of a socialist arrangement." io8 In a society where every one, in exchange for intellectual or manual work rendered to the society, will be assured of his daily bread, and thus will be protected from daily anxiety, it is evident that egoism will have far fewer stimulants and opportunities of showing itself than solidarity, sympathy, and altruism. Then this pitiless maxim will cease to be true homo homini lupus which, whether it is avowed or not, poisons so large a portion of our present life. I cannot stay longer over these details, and I finish here the examination of this second alleged contradiction between socialism and evolution by recalling that the sociological law which declares that the subsequent phase does not efface the vital and fructifying mani- festations of preceding phases of evolution, gives us a more positive idea of the social organisation in the course of formation than our opponents imagine who always think they have to refute the romantic and senti- mental socialism of the first half of the last century.* * That is for example what M. Yves Guyot does in Les Principes de '89, Paris, 1894, when he affirmed in the name of an individualistic psychology that "socialism is restrictive, and individualism expansive." This argu- ment is moreover partially true if it is reversed. We shall find a good example in the question of an eight hours' day, on which I point out the remarkable monograph of M. Albertini, La Questions delle otto ore di lavoro, Turin, 1894. The vulgar psychology, which is sufficient for M. Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism, book iii., chap, i., is contented with superficial observations. It declares, for example, that if the workman works for 12 hours he will evidently produce a third more than if he works 8 hours, and that is a reason why industrial capitalism is opposed log This shows how little substance there is in the objection which an illustrious Italian professor, M. Vanni, raised recently against socialism in the name of a learned but vague sociological eclecticism. " Contemporary socialism does not identify itself with individualism because it puts at the basis of social organisation a principle which is not that of the autonomy of the individual, but its negation. If in spite of that it affirms individualist ideas which are in contradiction to its principles, that does not mean that it has changed its nature or ceased to, and opposes, the minimum programme of the three eights eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, and eight for meals and recreation. A more scientific physio-psychological observation proves on the contrary as I said long ago that " man is a machine, but he does not work like a machine " in the sense that man is a living and not an inorganic machine. One understands that a locomotive or a sewing machine does a third more work in twelve hours than in eight, but man is a living machine subject to the laws of physical mechanics, and also to those of biological mechanics. Intellectual work, like muscular work, has not a uniform continuity. In the individual limits of fatigue and exhaustion, it obeys the law which Quetelet expressed by his binomial curve, and which I believe to be one of the fundamental laws of living and non-living nature. At the beginning the force or the speed is very feeble, then a maximum of force or speed is attained, at length the end comes with a very feeble force or speed. With manual as with intellectual work there is a maxi- mum after which the muscular and cerebral forces decline, and then the work is carried on slowly and without vigour until the end of the forced daily work. Add to that the beneficent suggestive influence of the reduction of hours, and it is easy to understand why the recent enquiries of the English manufacturers into the excellent results, even from the capitalist point of view, of the eight hours reform are irrefutable. The workers are less fatigued and the production has not diminished. When these economic reforms and all those that rest on a positive physio-psychology are carried into effect under no to be socialism ; it means simply that social- ism lives on contradictions."! When socialism, in assuring to each the means of living, claims that it will permit the affirmation and development of all individu- alities, it does not fall into a contradiction of principles, but being the next phase of human civilisation, it cannot suppress or efface what there is in the preceding phases that is vital, that is to say, what is compatible with the new social form. And so socialistic inter- nationalism is not in contradiction with the existence of One's country because it recog- nises what is true in it, and only eliminates the pathological part, the chauvinism ; and in the same way socialism does not live on con- tradiction, but, on the contrary, it follows the fundamental laws of natural evolution if it develops and preserves the vital part of individualism, and if it only suppresses the pathological manifestations which bring to pass in the modern world, as Prampolini said, that 90 per cent, of the cells of the social organisation are condemned to anaemia, because 10 per cent, are sick of hyperaemia and hypertrophy. a socialist regime, that is, without the friction and loss of force brought about by capitalist individualism, it is evident that they will have immense material and moral advantages despite the d priori objections of the present individualism which does not know how to observe, or which forgets the profound reflex effects of, a change of social environment on individual psychology. t Icilio Vanni, " La Funzione pratica della filosofia del diritto considerata in se e in rapporto al socialismo contemporaneo." Bologna, 1894. CHAPTER XII. EVOLUTION, REVOLUTION, REVOLT, INDIVIDUAL VIOLENCE, SOCIALISM, AND ANARCHY. The last and gravest of the contradictions which it is claimed are to be found between socialism and the scientific theory of evolution, is involved in the question how practical socialism will be realised. Some think that socialism ought to make known from now in all its details the precise and symmetrical framework of positive social organisation. " Give me a practical description of the new society and I will then decide if I should prefer it to the present society." Others and it is a consequence of this first false conception imagine that socialism wishes to change in a day the face of the world, and that having gone to sleep in a complete bourgeois world, we shall waken next day in a complete socialist world. How is it not seen, we then say, that all this clashes absolutely with the law of evolu- tion, whose two fundamental ideas which characterise the new direction of positive thought, and which oppose to it the old meta- physics are precisely the natural and gradual growth of all phenomena in all the domains of the life of Jhe universe from astronomy to sociology. It is indisputable that these two objections 112 were well founded when they were urged against what Engels called " Utopian socialism." When socialism before Karl Marx was only the sentimental expression of a humani- tarianism, as generous as it was careless of the most elementary principles of scientific positivism, it was quite natural to find its partizans yielding to the impetuosity of their heart, either in their vehement protestations against social iniquities or their dreamy con- templation of a better world to which their imagination sought to give exact outlines from Plato's "Republic" to Bellamy's "Look- ing Backward." It can readily be understood how easily these structures laid themselves open to criticism. This criticism was partly wrong, moreover, because it started from the mental habits proper to a modern environment, and which will change with the change of environ- ment ; but it was partly well founded, because the enormous complexity of social phenomena renders impossible every prophecy on the small details of a social organisation which will differ from ours more profoundly than our present society differs from that of the Middle Ages, because the bourgeois world, like the society which preceded it, has maintained individualism for a basis, whilst the socialist world will have its guiding idea fundamen- tally different. These prophetic constructions of a new social order are for the rest the natural product of the political and social artificialism with "3 which the most orthodox individualists are also imbued because they imagine, as Spencer has remarked, that human society is like dough, to which law can give one form rather than another without taking into account the qualities, tendencies, and aptitudes, organic and psychical, ethnological and historical, of different peoples. vSentimental socialism has furnished some attempts at Utopian construction, but the modern world of politics has presented, and is presenting, still more of them with the absurd and chaotic jumble of its laws and codes which surround each man from his birth to his death (even before he is born and after he is dead) in an inextricable net of systems, rules, decrees, and regulations which stifle him like a silkworm in its cocoon. And every day experience shows us that our legislators, imbued with this political and social artificialism, only copy the laws of the most diverse nations, just as the fashion comes from Paris or Berlin instead of considering scientifically,- from the particular and living conditions of their country, its positive interests in order to adapt laws to them, laws which otherwise remain, as numerous examples testify, a dead letter because the reality of things does not permit them to take root and fructify. * A typical example is furnished us by the new Italian penal code in which is found, as I had written before its application, no disposition which shows that it was made to be adapted to the conditions of Italy. It might just as well be a code made for Greece or Norway ; and we have In the matter of social artificial construc- tions socialists may say to Individualists : let him who is without sin cast the first stone. The true answer is quite another. Scientific socialism represents a much more advanced phase of socialist ideas : it is in complete accord with positive modern science, and it has completely abandoned the fantastic ideas of prophesying from the present time what human society will be in the new collectivist organisation. What scientific socialism can affirm, and what it does affirm, with mathematical cer- tainty, is that the current, the trajectory, of human evolution is in a general sense indi- cated and foreseen by socialism, that is to say, in the sense of a continuous, progressive preponderance of the interests and benefit of the species over those of the individual and consequently in the sense of a continuous socialisation of economic life and through it of juridical, moral, and political life. As to the small details of the new social edifice, we cannot foresee them precisely, be- cause the new social edifice will be, and is, a natural and spontaneous product of human evolution which is already in the process of borrowed from the countries of the North the system of solitary confinement when already these countries have been able to recognise all the costly absurdity of, a plan made to brutalise people. Experience has unfortunately confirmed my previsions, as the Commission of Judicial Statistics was obliged to acknowledge. Ferri, La Bancarotta del nuovo codice penale in Scuola positiva, No. 9, 1894. "5 formation, general lines of which are already drawn and which is not an artificial con- struction imagined by some utopist or metaphysician. The position is the same both for social sciences and natural sciences. In studying a human embryo of a few days, or a few weeks, the biologist cannot say (it is the celebrated law of Haeckel : the develop- ment of the individual embryo reproduces in miniature the ^diverse forms of development of the animal species which have preceded it in the zoological series) the biologist cannot say if it will be male or female, and still less if it will be a strong or feeble individual, of a sanguine or nervous temperament, intelligent or not. He will only be able to give the general lines of the future evolution of this individual, and will leave to time the care of specifying naturally and spontaneously, and according to its organic, hereditary conditions and the conditions of the environment in which it will live, all the peculiarities of its personality. This is what every socialist can and should answer. It is the position taken by Bebel in the German Reichstag,* in his answer to those who wish to know now in detail what the future State will be, and who, cleverly profiting by the ingenuity of socialist romance writers, criticise their artificial phantasies, true in their general lines, but arbitrary in their details. * Bebel, Zukunftstaat und Sozialdemokratie, 1893. u6 It would have been similar if, before the French Revolution which brought about the birth of the bourgeois world prepared and ripened in a prior evolution the nobility and the clergy, the classes then in power, had asked the representatives of the Third Estate bourgeois by birth, aristocrats or priests having embraced the cause of the bourgeoisie against the privileges of their caste, like the Marquis de Mirabeau and the Abbe Sieves : " But what will your new world be ? Present us first with an exact plan of it ; then we will decide." The Third Estate, the bourgeoisie, could not have answered, because it could not have foreseen what human society would become in the nineteenth century : and that did not prevent the bourgeois revolution from taking place, because it represented the subsequent phase, natural and inevitable, of an eternal evolution. That is now the position of socialism in the face of the bourgeois world. And if this bourgeois world, only born a century ago, is to have an historical cycle much smaller than the feudal world (aristo- cratic and clerical), it is simply because the marvellous scientific progress of the nineteenth century has multiplied a hundredfold the rapidity of life in time and space, and because civilised humanity traverses now in ten years the same road that it took a century or two to travel in the Middle Ages. The continually accelerated march of human evolution is, again, one of the laws established and confirmed by positive social science. H7 It is the artificial constructions of senti- mental science which have given birth to this idea correct as far as it concerns them that socialism is synonymous with tyranny. It is evident that if the new social organi- sation is not the spontaneous form of human evolution, but rather the artificial construction proceeding fully developed from the brain of a social architect, the latter would be obliged to discipline the new social mechanism by an infinite number of regulations, and by the superior authority which it will give to a directing spirit, individual or collective. It can then be understood how such an organi- sation gives our opponents, who only see in the individualist world the advantages of liberty, and who forget the evils which freely spring from it, the impressions of a convent, a regimentation, etc.* Another artificial contemporary product State socialism has confirmed this impres- sion. At the bottom, it does not differ from sentimental or Utopian socialism, and as Liebknecht said at the Berlin Socialist Con- gress in 1892, " It would be a State capitalism which would join political slavery to economic exploitation." State socialism is a symptom of the irresistible power of scientific and demo- cratic socialism as is shown by the famous rescripts of the Emperor William convoking an international conference to solve (that is the childish idea of the decree) the problems of * It is this artificial socialism which Herbert Spencer attacks in his essay From Freedom to Bondage, re- published in the third volume of his Essays. u8 labour, and by the famous encyclical letter on " The Condition of Labour " of the very clever Pope Leo, who knew how to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. But these imperial rescripts, and these papal encyclicals because we can neither skip nor suppress the phases of social evolution can but fail in our bourgeois, individualist, liberalist world. Certainly it would not have displeased the bourgeois world to strangle this vigorous con- temporary socialism in the amorous embrace of official artificialism and State socialism ; for it had been perceived in Germany and elsewhere that neither laws nor exceptional repressions would be sufficient for this.* All this arsenal of regulations and inspec- tions has nothing to do with scientific socialism, which foresees clearly that the administration of the new social organisation will not be more confused than the adminis- tration of the State, the provinces, and the parishes, is now, and will, on the contrary, correspond far better with social benefit and individual benefit, because it will be a natural and not a parasitic product of the new social * It is against State Socialism that the majority of the individualist and anarchist objections of Spencer are directed in The Man -versus the State, London, 1885. In connection with this subject the celebrated controversy between Spencer and Laveleye will still be remembered : The State versus the Man, or Social Darwinism and Christianity, in the Contemporary Review, 1885. Larfargue in an article on Herbert Spencer and Social- ism, published in The Times, and reproduced in the Ere Nouvelle, 1894, nas not mentioned this distinctiFuente.



Ferri, Enrico

Socialism and positive
F55 science. 5th ed.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

Mi lista de enlaces

Buscar este blog


Datos personales

Este blog tiene como objetivo mostrar opiniones literarias o críticas tanto mías, como las que yo encuentre en Internet, como las opiniones de los lectores que deseen colaborar.