Elements of Socialism: A Text-Book

By John Spargo; George Louis Arner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
SOCIAL EVOLUTION

Socialism and the principle of evolution: The principles of scientific Socialism are almost meaningless without a comprehension of the evolutionary character of life and of society. Scientific Socialism studies the evolutionary changes that have taken place in society from the simplest human groups in primitive savagery to the complex world society of to-day. It investigates the causes of the changes which have taken place, and the causes which are operating in the world at present. It recognizes that the evolutionary process is not yet complete, and points out the next step in social evolution, which Socialists believe will be to a world society based upon coöperative production, and coöperative use of natural wealth, for the benefit of all, as contrasted with the present stage of development, in which wealth is produced and used largely for the benefit of a few.

The evolution of social groups is recognized by non- Socialists, but they generally confine themselves to a description of past conditions, without applying the results of their observation in the formulation of social theories, or in the forecasting of the future course of development.

Evolution and revolution: Darwin and his immediate followers believed that evolution was the result of infinitesimal variations in existing forms, which gradually accumulated when they proved of advantage to the individual, and in time resulted in new species. The development of new forms of life would therefore be a process so slow as to be imperceptible except by the comparison of two periods separated by thousands of generations of individuals. A more recent school of biology believes that changes come more suddenly. New environmental conditions cause many members of a species to depart greatly from the type, so that in one generation there are individuals so different from

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Elements of Socialism: A Text-Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • PART I SOCIALISM AS CRITICISM 1
  • Chapter I: INTRODUCTION 3
  • Chapter II Capitalist Society 7
  • LITERATURE 18
  • Chapter III Planless Production 19
  • LITERATURE 29
  • Chapter IV Poverty 30
  • LITERATURE 43
  • Chapter V Leisure and Luxury 44
  • LITERATURE 52
  • Chapter VI Individual and Social Responsibility 53
  • LITERATURE 58
  • PART II SOCIALIST THEORY 59
  • Chapter VII: INTRODUCTORY 61
  • Chapter VIII Social Evolution 65
  • LITERATURE 75
  • Chapter IX the Economic Interpretation of History 76
  • LITERATURE 90
  • Chapter X Industrial Evolution 91
  • LITERATURE 99
  • Chapter XI the Class Struggle Theory 100
  • LITERATURE 115
  • Chapter XII Value and Price 116
  • LITERATURE 140
  • Chapter XIII Surplus-Value 141
  • LITERATURE 156
  • Chapter XIV the Law of Concentration 157
  • LITERATURE 167
  • Chapter XV Monopolies and Trusts 168
  • LITERATURE 184
  • PART III THE SOCIALIST IDEAL 185
  • Chapter XVI the Utopian Socialist Ideal 187
  • LITERATURE 200
  • Chapter XVII the Ideals of Modern Socialism 201
  • LITERATURE 211
  • Chapter XVIII Socialist State--Political 212
  • LITERATURE 223
  • Chapter XIX: THE SOCIALIST STATE--ECONOMIC 224
  • Chapter XX Socialism and the Family 240
  • LITERATURE 251
  • PART IV THE SOCIALIST MOVEMENT 253
  • Chapter XXI the Rise and Growth of Modern Socialism 255
  • LITERATURE 265
  • Chapter XXII the National Socialist Movemenis 266
  • LITERATURE 314
  • PART V POLICY AND PROGRAM 315
  • Chapter XXIII Socialism and Social Reform 317
  • LITERATURE 336
  • Chapter XXIV the Reform Program of Socialism 337
  • LITERATURE 353
  • Chapter XXV Some Objections to Socialism Considered 354
  • LITERATURE 369
  • Index 371
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