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Chris
07-08-2012, 11:15 AM
Back in April Obama called a Rep budget proposal “thinly veiled Social Darwinism.”

Social Darwinism is largely misunderstood by the left, and many on the right as well.

Social Darwinism and the Free Market (http://mises.org/journals/fm/FM_May_2012.pdf) (.PDF) explains and I encourage you read in entirety.
...The libertarian philosopher and historian George Smith, among others, has noted that Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner, usually classed as the main Social Darwinist defenders of the market, believed nothing like the doctrine just described. Spencer approved of private charity and includes in his The Principles of Ethics a discussion of the duties of “positive beneficence.” “Spencer opposed coercive, state-enforced charity, but he favored charity that is voluntarily bestowed...."

...political philosopher Larry Arnhart has pointed out, Darwin did not teach that human evolution depends on ruthless struggle. To the contrary, he emphasized the importance of social unity and cooperation. “‘Selfish and contentious people will not cohere,’ Darwin declared, and without coherence nothing can be effected. If Social Darwinism is all about selfish competition . . . then Darwin was not as Social Darwinist.”

Ludwig von Mises already called attention in Human Action to this misunderstanding of Darwin. “The notion of the struggle for existence as Darwin borrowed it from Malthus is to be understood in a metaphorical sense. . . . It need not always be a war of extermination such as the relation between man and morbific microbes. Reason has demonstrated that, for man, the most adequate means of improving his condition is social cooperation and division of labor.” (Human Action, Mises Institute 1998, p. 175)

...[Welfare] programs take from some to give to others: they strike against the cooperative aim of a free society. The poor fare far better in the free market than they do from government largesse....([see] Henry Hazlitt’s Man Versus the Welfare State)....

Carygrant
07-08-2012, 01:32 PM
I have never understood it's relevance to well developed groups , say US and EU countries , that have reached the point where they wish to decide how Ethical they will be .
The theory is not predictive at this point . Only descriptive .
Do you see that as a fair criticism ?

Goldie Locks
07-08-2012, 01:40 PM
How's that war on poverty going after nearly 50 years? Seems we still have a lot of poor people, even more so since Ubama took over. This should not even be a concern of the Federal Government, this is a state and local issue.
The goal is not to solve the poverty problem but to enslave them for political gain....ie useful idiots. There has always been poor people and there always will be.
The poor would actually do better in the free market than from government.
There is nothing stopping the poor in a free market society from being able to lift their lot in life whereas under government control there is no growth only more substandard living.

Darwinism in the Ryan budget consisted of an increase from 3.6 T this year and to 4.8 T in ten years.

Chris
07-08-2012, 01:49 PM
I have never understood it's relevance to well developed groups , say US and EU countries , that have reached the point where they wish to decide how Ethical they will be .
The theory is not predictive at this point . Only descriptive .
Do you see that as a fair criticism ?

The theory? Social Darwinism? It's not a theory at all, it's a metaphor of the media.

The Real William Graham Sumner (http://mises.org/daily/5206/The-Real-William-Graham-Sumner)
... there is considerable evidence that the entire concept of "social Darwinism" as we know it today was virtually invented by Richard Hofstadter. Eric Foner, in an introduction to a then-new edition of Hofstadter's book published in the early 1990s, declines to go quite that far. "Hofstadter did not invent the term Social Darwinism," Foner writes, "which originated in Europe in the 1860s and crossed the Atlantic in the early twentieth century. But before he wrote, it was used only on rare occasions; he made it a standard shorthand for a complex of late-nineteenth-century ideas, a familiar part of the lexicon of social thought." In the process, he not only portrayed William Graham Sumner as a "social Darwinist"; he also portrayed Herbert Spencer that way. In fact Richard Hofstadter seems to be the principal source of the widespread modern belief that both these men were "social Darwinists."

It's a great example of what Hayek called scientism, the misapplication of science to an area it doesn't fit.

MMC
07-08-2012, 02:03 PM
Yeah.....I think we talked about this before. Kinda like Social Justice. No such thing. There is only Justice. Not Social Justice.

Chris
07-08-2012, 02:12 PM
With an additional problem tho', the misconception Darwinism was about survival of the fittest competition when it was about survival of the fitter cooperation. The correct analogy to draw is that through the economic cooperation of individuals exchanging goods and services emerges the free market, where, as the OP states, "The poor fare far better in the free market than they do from government largesse."

roadmaster
07-08-2012, 04:41 PM
Darwinism has so many cracks in it. A wise person once said, his name is Phillip Johnson.

"If you know a gifted young person, help him or her to see the vision. Those who are called to it won't need any further encouragement. Once they have seen their calling, you had better step out of the way because you won't be able to stop them even if you try."

The survival of the fittest is flawed. Test and sometimes failures in our lives makes us stronger.

Chris
07-08-2012, 04:47 PM
Darwinism has so many cracks in it. A wise person once said, his name is Phillip Johnson.

"If you know a gifted young person, help him or her to see the vision. Those who are called to it won't need any further encouragement. Once they have seen their calling, you had better step out of the way because you won't be able to stop them even if you try."

The survival of the fittest is flawed. Test and sometimes failures in our lives makes us stronger.

You mean Phillip Johnson the lawyer creationist who started the Wedge Movement? His argument is against metaphysical materialism which he confuses with scientific materialism.


The survival of the fittest is flawed.

Yes, it is. As discussed above, it is not nor never was a part of Darwin's theories. It's a straw man.

roadmaster
07-08-2012, 05:01 PM
It wasn't??????

I have studied this man and I am not young. Lets quote him


"The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla"

In fact Margaret Sanger drew her inspiration for what became Planned Parenthood from Darwin and saw a need to control the breeding of poorer and less fit humans.

Chris
07-08-2012, 05:21 PM
It wasn't??????

I have studied this man and I am not young. Lets quote him


"The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla"

In fact Margaret Sanger drew her inspiration for what became Planned Parenthood from Darwin and saw a need to control the breeding of poorer and less fit humans.

Says nothing at all about survival of the fittest. He's talking how species continue to differentiate over time.

Darwin was against euthanasia, it was some relative of his and Social Gospellers and Sanger and other Progressives misunderstood Darwin or read Hofstadter (see post #4). Johnson is just following their scientisim.

Also, Darwin is not Darwinism, and certainly not Social Darwinism.

roadmaster
07-08-2012, 05:51 PM
You do need to read his books. A Darwinian view says that there is no absolute authority; there is merely survival of the fittest.

Chris
07-08-2012, 05:57 PM
You do need to read his books. A Darwinian view says that there is no absolute authority; there is merely survival of the fittest.

Darwin did not theorize survival of the fittest. Read the OP. That was others, and it was not science but scientism. Probe Ministries (http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.5216319/k.3211/The_Effect_of_Origins_on_Society.htm), where you got that, is wrong: They too confuse metaphysical materialism with scientific materialism.

roadmaster
07-08-2012, 06:01 PM
Darwin did not theorize survival of the fittest. Read the OP. That was others, and it was not science but scientism. Probe Ministries (http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.5216319/k.3211/The_Effect_of_Origins_on_Society.htm), where you got that, is wrong: They too confuse metaphysical materialism with scientific materialism.

You are correct and I have read all of his books and agree with them.

Chris
07-08-2012, 08:26 PM
You are correct and I have read all of his books and agree with them.

So you're against metaphysical materialism. Good, so am I. But it has nothing to do with Darwinism.