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growing and deepening as the upward process has continued. In the course of this process we must consider that it has never been the welfare of the infinitesimal number of individuals at any time existing which constitutes the end towards which Natural Selection may be regarded as working. It is always the advantage of the incomparably larger number of individuals yet to come towards which the whole pro
This is the lesson, for the social sciences, of the modern development in biology. To have grasped, however imperfectly, its application, is to have caught a first glimpse of the nature of the extraordinary revolution which the evolutionary hypothesis is eventually destined to accomplish in the sciences. dealing with the principles of human society. It is in the principle here discussed that we undoubtedly have the clue to those larger ruling causes that have controlled the course of progress at every point throughout the past history of life. But it is a principle which we have been, so far, regarding at work only in the lower stages of an ascending process. It is as we have now to watch life broadening upwards towards self-consciousness that we begin to understand how large a place on the stage of the world must henceforward be filled with phenomena arising out of the continued predominance of this principle. It is as we come slowly into view of a reasoning creature reaching his full development only in conditions of social order in which the demands made by the future upon the individual and the present continue of necessity to grow ever more and more insistent and exacting; a reasoning creature, withal,
endowed with the power of realising the present at the expense of the future, that we begin to perceive the real nature of the gigantic problem which lies at the base of all society, and towards the solution of which all human development moves.
THE POSITION IN MODERN THOUGHT
To any one who comes fresh from the study of the position we have been considering in the last chapter, the modern condition of the sciences dealing with the social phenomena of our civilisation must present features of unusual interest. We have seen in that chapter how the movement in progress in recent biological science is gradually bringing into prominence a principle round which the theory of the evolution of life, by Natural Selection, must now be considered to revolve. Stated in a few words, the effect of the perception of this principle is to bring us to understand how all previous ideas of a conciliation between the interests of the existing individuals of any progressive form of life and those of the majority of their kind, must give way to a conception of life as involved in a vast antinomy in which we see the present continually envisaged with the future, and in which it is never the present, but always the future, which is of larger importance. We have seen how in this conflict it is only those forms of life among which the interests of the existing individuals have been continually subordinated to the greater interest of their kind in the future that have come down to us as winning types, and how amongst every existing form destined to successfully maintain its place in the rivalry of existence, the conditions at
any time prevailing must of necessity be those wherein the process in progress is weighted and controlled at every point, not by the interests of the present individuals, but by those of the generations yet in the future.
As the mind with this position clearly before it is concentrated now on the later phases of the evolutionary process in human history, and more particularly on the aspects of that process as they are presented in the complex social phenomena of the modern world, we become conscious that we are regarding one of the most remarkable spectacles which the history of knowledge presents.
If we recognise that we have before us in human society the last and most important phase of the evolutionary process in life; if, therefore, we consider that the law which we have beheld in operation from the beginning that law which at every point in the process of progress necessitated the prevalence of conditions in which the interests of the present and the individual were subordinated to those of the future and the universal - cannot have been suspended in human society; if, indeed, we must rather consider that these conditions must be more directly operative, and this law, therefore, be more imperative in human society than ever before in the history of life; then there can be no doubt as to the nature of the position which confronts us at the threshold of the science of society. It would seem that the controlling fact to which we must discover every principle of the science of society to be related, is that the history of human development is, in the last resort, the history of the development of the principles by
which there is being effected the subordination of the individual to a process, the larger meaning of which is always in the future.
As the evolutionist looks the conclusion here stated in the face the enormous reach of its meaning begins to be visible to him. For, it must be, he sees, in the fact here brought into view-namely, that the history of human development is to be regarded as the history of the development of the conceptions, by which the interests of the present are being subordinated to those of a process, the meaning of which is projected beyond the farthest limits of political consciousness that we have the ultimate principle to which the philosophy of history is related. It must be primarily along the line of the operation of this principle of Projected Efficiency that Natural Selection is discriminating between the living, the dying, and the dead in human society. All the phenomena of our social development must, therefore, whether we be conscious of the fact or not, stand in subordinate relationship to it. For here, as elsewhere, we see that in the formula of existence for any type of social order destined to maintain its place in the future, the interests of all the visible world around us can have no place, except in so far as they are included in the larger interests of a future to which they are entirely subordinate.
It is when, with these facts in mind, we turn now to the condition of political theory associated with the current life of our civilisation, and to the system of social philosophy from which those theories proceed, that we begin to realise something of the nature of the interval which is likely to separate