Law of the jungle  

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"NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky, And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"The law of the jungle" is an expression that has come to mean "every man for himself", "anything goes", "survival of the strongest", "survival of the fittest", "kill or be killed", "dog eat dog" or "eat or be eaten". The Oxford English Dictionary defines the Law of the Jungle as "the code of survival in jungle life, now usually with reference to the superiority of brute force or self-interest in the struggle for survival."

It is also known as jungle law or frontier justice.

The phrase was used in a poem by Rudyard Kipling to describe the obligations and behaviour of a wolf in a pack. However, this use of the term has been overtaken in popularity by the other interpretations above.

The Jungle Book

In the 1894 novel The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling uses the term to describe an actual set of legal codes used by wolves and other animals in the jungles of India. In Chapter Two of The Second Jungle Book (1895), Rudyard Kipling provides a poem, featuring the Law of the Jungle as known to the wolves, and as taught to their offspring.

In the 2016 Disney adaptation of the novel, the wolves often recite a poem referred as the "law of the jungle" and when Baloo asks Mowgli if he ever heard a song and he begins to recite this anthem, the bear responds by telling him that it is not a song, but a propaganda text.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Law of the jungle" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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