Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/305

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APPLETONS’

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

JULY, 1898.



THE EVOLUTION OF COLONIES.
By JAMES COLLIER.
I.—THE GENESIS OF COLONIES.

NOWHERE is the analogy between the individual and the society more applicable than at the beginnings of both. Though, as research advances, it will probably be found instructive at the very summit of the scale,[1] it is most illuminative at the base, where the individual and social organisms are often indistinguishable. It is then perceived to be an identity which binds together two widely separated provinces of knowledge. So close is the parallelism in the lower ranges that biological statements have only to be translated into sociological terms. The genesis of individuals is the key to the genesis of societies, and of those special societies named colonies. The biology of reproduction is the foundation of what may be styled coloniology.

Reproduction in its earliest or sexless form is discontinuous growth. Species can be arranged in an ascending series so as to exhibit an insensible transition from mere expansion of the parent mass to the budding off of new individuals. In certain species, like the sponge, the two processes are identical, and no true line of division can be drawn.

Colonization is the national mode of self-reproduction, and here again extension and multiplication are inseparable. Continuous population, remarks Grote, was not the law of the ancient world. A Greek city-state did not grow by expansion, as a modern state does; it grew only by multiplication. It did not annex adjacent


  1. See a recent treatise: Conscience et volonté sociales. By J. Novicow. Paris, 1896.