When people speak of the “survival of the fittest” or the “law of the jungle” they are, in a certain manner, describing a process of Nature in the development of its intention in the universal manifestation. This process is the use of a dialectic where forces are placed in opposition to one another, and through their strife, they bring about some new result which precipitates out of the action. All through the material and vital world, in the plant and animal kingdoms, we see the process of strife eventually yielding a new result or achievement of a balance, or a progress, that was not there prior.
In the development of human society, we can see very clearly the working on this dialectic process. The intensity of the focus on the opposing force brings about, at some point, a deeper understanding., which forms the basis either of a new balance of harmony resulting, or at least the integration in some new way of the factors from each side that Nature wants to preserve and promulgate. It is through this process evolution proceeds.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “It is a constant method of Nature, when she has two elements of a harmony to reconcile, to proceed at first by a long continued balancing in which she sometimes seems to lean entirely on one side, sometimes entirely to the other, at others to correct both excesses by a more or less successful temporary adjustment and moderating compromise. The two elements appear then as opponents necessary to each other who therefore labour to arrive at some conclusion of their strife. But as each has its egoism and that innate tendency of all things which drives them not only towards self-preservation but towards self-assertion in proportion to their available force, they seek each to arrive at a conclusion in which itself shall have the maximum part and dominate utterly if possible or even swallow up entirely the egoism of the other in its own egoism. Thus the progress towards harmony accomplishes itself by a strife of forces and seems often to be no effort towards concord or mutual adjustment at all, but rather towards a mutual devouring. In effect, the swallowing up, not of one by the other, but of each by the other, so that both shall live entirely in the other and as the other, is our highest ideal of oneness. It is the last ideal of love at which strife tries ignorantly to arrive; for by strife one can only arrive at an adjustment of the two opposite demands, not at a stable harmony, a compromise between two conflicting egoisms and not the fusing of them into each other. Still, strife does lead to an increasing mutual comprehension which eventually makes the attempt at real oneness possible.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 3, The Group and the Individual, pg. 20