Course Content
Survival of the Fittest
Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer
Moral Actions – Spencer
Types of Cooperation – Herbert Spencer
Critique of Communism and Socialism
Society as a Thing – Spencer and Realism
Comparative-Historical Method
Value Free Sociology of Spencer
Criticism of Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
    About Lesson

    Construction of Types

    The development of types that may not exist in reality but which would aid in analyzing and contrasting various cultures forms the basis of the second classification system. Here, an alternative evolution—from militaries to industrial societies—is envisioned.

    Spencer provided a comparable explanatory typology that contrasted the extremes of an industrial and militant society.

    The Militant Society

    An organization that prioritizes both offensive and defensive military activity is called a militant society. These traits characterize such a civilization.

    1. Compulsory collaboration is a defining characteristic of human interactions in such societies.
    2. A highly centralized power and social control system is in place.
    3. Several myths and notions uphold society’s hierarchical structure.
    4. Life is characterized by strict discipline and a tight equivalence between private and public life.

    Highly organized offensive and defensive combat structures are a hallmark of militant cultures. In actuality, the country and the army are one. The nation is the quiescent army, and the military assumes a structure common to the army and nation.  The regulative system of the militant society, with its centralized and autocratic government control, unrestricted political influence over individual behavior, and tightly regulated, disciplined, and regimented people, dominates it. In society, collaboration only occurs when it is required. The purpose of the person is to serve the interests of the collective. Under the militant type, the individual is the state’s asset. Although preserving society is the primary goal, defending each member is secondary. Individual positions are set in rank, profession, and geography, and there is a strict hierarchy of statuses. Currently, the industry primarily serves the demands of the military and government.

    Spencer thought that conflict by means such as military conquest is helpful in militant civilizations for promoting social aggregation, despite his criticism of warfare and his desire for a world in which it would be decreased or abolished. According to Spencer, enormous aggregates of men cannot be produced without war, and without vast aggregates of men, there cannot be an advanced industrialized state which is beneficial in laying the foundation for industrial civilization. Additionally, Spencer’s ideas on the principle of the fittest and this attitude toward violence are related. He believes that people must face the reality that the conflicts for existence amongst civilizations have been crucial to their development.  However, as an industrial civilization grows, war becomes less valuable and more dysfunctional as it works to stifle economic progress, depletes human and material resources, drains intellectual resources, and promotes antisocial attitudes. So finally, such a society will result in a society that cherishes peace.

    The Industrial Society

    Military organization and activities are on the periphery of society in an industrial society. The majority of such society is focused on the welfare and productivity of people.

    One of these society’s defining traits is that it is characterized by

    A. The expansion of free groups and institutions. 
    B. Voluntary collaboration. 
    C. Firm acknowledgment of individuals’ rights. 
    D. The expansion of free groups and institutions. 

    The sustaining system dominates the industrial society, which has a more advanced and varied industrial system. The regulatory control still in place is often negative (people must not do particular things) instead of positive (people must do certain things). The despotic rule is unnecessary since governments usually function democratically, with elected officials in charge. The remaining control is often considerably more dispersed. People freely cooperate, and collectivity exists to promote the benefit of the populace. Individuality is safeguarded and given room to grow. The requirements of the industrial system come before those of the military system. Contracts that people freely engage in allow for the exercising of control.

    In contrast to turmoil and war, industrial civilizations are characterized by harmony. Industrial civilizations are far more economically intertwined than combative cultures, which are compelled to do so due to animosity from and toward their neighbors. Industrial civilizations are far more adaptive and versatile than belligerent societies, which tend to be somewhat rigid.

    Spencer used his usual method of deducing the traits of the militant society before demonstrating how induction from existing militant cultures supports them. But in the case of industrial societies, he was compelled to stray from his typical course since these societies’ aggressive traits continue to obscure their characteristics, which are still in the process of emergence. Spencer was thus compelled to depend even more on the deductive technique when describing industrial cultures, though he did find some support in information obtained from communities with industrial traits.

    Hybrid societies

    Spencer also spoke about “hybrid societies,” which are only partly militant or industrial civilizations. Although he argued that hybrid societies are likely to be more similar to militant societies than industrial ones, he called them hybrid societies. He called the society he inhabited a transitional hybrid, semi-industrial, and semi-militant. Finally, Spencer acknowledged that, despite a general evolutionary tendency toward industrial cultures, a return to a more militaristic society is possible. A foreign war, for instance, may lead an industrial society to become more militant, resulting in more aggressive behavior on the outside and restrictive inside governance. Spencer longed for a global federation to prevent hostilities between its member countries, even though he saw a persistent danger of rebarbarization. Unfortunately, Spencer did not present a linear account of social progress in his militant-industrial classification scheme.

    Ethical Society

    Spencer believed that evolution had not yet reached its climax.
    He made the case that the industrial society would eventually give way to an “ethical society,” which would be utterly devoid of external control and characterized by individuals’ voluntary adherence to community standards. Spencer understood that cultures didn’t have to conform entirely to either of the categorization schemes. However, they continued to function as models for categorization guidance.

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