Anyone who studies the state of things which preceded the French Revolution will see that the tremendous catastrophe came about from so excessive a regulation of men's actions in all their details, and such an enormous drafting away of the products of their actions to maintain the regulating organization, that life was fast becoming impracticable. And if we ask what then made, and now makes, this error possible, we find it to be the political superstition that governmental power is subject to no restraints.
Progress is not an accident, not a thing within human control, but a beneficent necessity . . . due to the working of a universal law. So surely must the things we call evil and immorality disappear; so surely must man become perfect.
This survival of the fittest which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called "natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life."
Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)
Source: Principles of Biology. Indirect Equilibration.