The present social state is transitional, as past social states have been transitional. There will, I hope and believe, come a future social state differing as much from the present as the present differs from the past with its mailed barons and defenseless serfs. In Social Statics, as well as in The Study of Sociology and in Political Institutions, is clearly shown the desire for an organisation more conducive to the happiness of men at large than that which exists. My opposition to socialism results from the belief that it would stop the progress to such a higher state and bring back a lower state. Nothing but the slow modification of human nature by the discipline of social life, can produce permanently advantageous changes.Herbert Spencer, “From Freedom to Bondage,” in Thomas Mackay (ed.), A Plea for Liberty: An Argument Against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation (1891). The three works cited are Social Statics; or, The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified, and the First of Them Developed (1851), presented in 1892 in an Abridged and Revised form; The Study of Sociology (1873); and Political Institutions (1882), which appeared as Part V in the second volume of his Principles of Sociology.