Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/80

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seize upon certain implications of universal rearrangement. In the concrete world of living organisms, equilibration becomes the relentless struggle for existence, in which the weakest go to the wall. Natural selection follows. It was this intensely concrete aspect that Mr. Darwin saw, and intellectually mastered.

The distinction here indicated between evolution as a universal process, comprehensively described by Spencer, and Darwinism, or Mr. Darwin's account of one vitally important and concrete phase of that process, has often been noted, and is usually observed by careful writers. It is of particular importance in any discussion of social evolution. To indicate how far our theories of social origins, our philosophies of history and of human institutions, have become not only evolutionist, in the Spencerian sense of the word, but also Darwinian, is the purpose of my lecture this afternoon.

It was not until the publication of "The Descent of Man," in 1871, when controversy over "The Origin of Species" had raged through twelve years of intellectual tempest, that the full significance of natural selection for the doctrine of human progress was apprehended by the scientific world. Mr. Spencer saw it when "The Origin of Species" appeared. Mr. Darwin himself had perceived that he must offer a credible explanation of the paradox that a ruthless struggle for existence yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness. But it was neither Mr. Spencer, nor Mr. Darwin, who first recognized the specific phase of the life struggle in which the clue to the mystery might be sought. The gifted thinker who made that discovery was Walter Bagehot, editor of the London Economist, whose little book on "Physics and Politics, or Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of Natural Selection and Inheritance to Political Society," was published, first as a series of articles in The Fortnightly Review, beginning in November, 1867. Mr. Darwin rightly calls these articles "remarkable." Revised and put together in book form they made a volume of only two hundred and twenty-three small pages in large type, but no more original, brilliant or, as far as it goes, satisfactory examination of the deeper problems of social causation has ever been offered from that day until now. It anticipated much that is most valuable in later exposition.

In the "Social Statics," Mr. Spencer had shown that primitive man, subsisting upon inferior species and contending with them for standing room and safety, necessarily developed a human nature adapted to the task of slaughter, cruel, therefore, and unscrupulous; but that triumphant posterity, inheriting a subjugated world, and no longer bound to kill, might become sympathetic enough to cooperate successfully in peaceful activities. The exact relation, however, of this process to group formation or to the collective activity of a cooperating group when formed, Mr. Spencer at this time certainly did not see. For, incredible though it may seem, Mr. Spencer did not at this time so much