?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Social Darwinism

David Boaz has a thoughtful critical essay on Socialism and Social Darwinism at Cato at Liberty.  He references critics of those who, like Richard Hofstadter, use this term in error when they do not have better arguments.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says that social Darwinism is

the theory that persons, groups, and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had perceived in plants and animals in nature. According to the theory, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the weak were diminished and their cultures delimited, while the strong grew in power and in cultural influence over the weak….The poor were the “unfit” and should not be aided; in the struggle for existence, wealth was a sign of success. At the societal level, social Darwinism was used as a philosophical rationalization for imperialist, colonialist, and racist policies, sustaining belief in Anglo-Saxon or Aryan cultural and biological superiority


Boaz writes that "As Dan Mitchell pointed out, Paul Ryan’s budget proposes to make the federal government substantially larger than it was under Bill Clinton. Does that make Clinton a social Darwinist?"  There are many of us who, at the risk of being mischaracterized like this would argue that Paul Ryan does not go nearly far enough.

Comments

Latest Month

November 2018
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow