Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/157

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.



DECEMBER, 1880.



THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.
By HERBERT SPENCER.
II.—POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN GENERAL.

THE mere gathering of individuals into a group does not constitute them a society. A society, in the sociological sense, is formed only when, besides juxtaposition, there is cooperation. So long as members of the group do not combine their energies to achieve some common end or ends, there is little to keep them together. They are prevented from separating only when the wants of each are better satisfied by uniting his efforts with those of others than they would be if he acted alone.

Coöperation, then, is at once that which can not exist without a society, and that for which a society exists. It may be a joining of many strengths to effect something which the strength of no single man can effect; or it may be an apportioning of different activities to different persons, who severally participate in the benefits of one another's activities. The motive for acting together, originally the dominant one, may be defense against enemies; or it may be the easier obtainment of food, by the chase or otherwise; or it may be, and commonly is, both of these. In any case, however, the units pass from the state of perfect independence to the state of mutual dependence; and as fast as they do this they become united into a society rightly so called.

But coöperation implies organization. If acts are to be effectually combined, there must be arrangements under which they are adjusted in their times, amounts, and characters.

This social organization, necessary as a means to concerted action, is of two kinds. Though these two kinds generally coexist, and are