Bears on natural selection -- The term used in a wide sense -- Geometrical powers of increase -- Rapid increase of naturalised animals and plants -- Nature of the checks to increase -- Competition universal -- Effects of climate -- Protection from the number of individuals -- Complex relations of all animals and plants throughout nature -- Struggle for life most severe between individuals and varieties of the same species; often severe between species of the same genus -- The relation of organism to organism the most important of all relations.
It is the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms; for in this case there can be no artificial increase of food, and no prudential restraint from marriage.
But we have better evidence on this subject than mere theoretical calculations, namely, the numerous recorded cases of the astonishingly rapid increase of various animals in a state of nature, when circumstances have been favourable to them during two or three following seasons.
Hence we may confidently assert, that all plants and animals are tending to increase at a geometrical ratio, that all would most rapidly stock every station in which they could any how exist, and that the geometrical tendency to increase must be checked by destruction at some period of life.
A large number of eggs is of some importance to those species, which depend on a rapidly fluctuating amount of food, for it allows them rapidly to increase in number.
In looking at Nature, it is most necessary to keep the foregoing considerations always in mind--never to forget that every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers; that each lives by a struggle at some period of its life; that heavy destruction inevitably falls either on the young or old, during each generation or at recurrent intervals.
What checks the natural tendency of each species to increase in number is most obscure.
It is not enough that a country should lose none of the money that forms its capital; you will not increase its prosperity by more or less ingenious devices for causing this amount to circulate, by means of production and consumption, through the greatest possible number of hands.
Our wheelwright extolled my wheeled plows because he wished to increase his own business, so I secured an ally in him; but in this matter, as in all others, I sought to make the good of one conduce to the good of all.
Then I turned my attention to another kind of production, that should increase the welfare rather than the wealth of these poor folk.
But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more.
The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse
But the different forms of motion have their own contraries in other forms; thus destruction is the contrary of generation, diminution of increase
, rest in a place, of change of place.
There was talk of all countries putting bounties on children to increase
the birth rate, but it was laughed to scorn by the arithmeticians, who pointed out that China was too far in the lead in that direction.
But a wise ordinance of Nature has decreed that, in proportion as the working-classes increase
in intelligence, knowledge, and all virtue, in that same proportion their acute angle (which makes them physically terrible) shall increase
also and approximate to the comparatively harmless angle of the Equilateral Triangle.