By the late s, the phrase 'social Darwinism' began to be heard and, in the following decades, 'Darwinism' was used to describe and justify a whole range of . withholding welfare for the poor, colonialism, eugenics, and genocide. needed for the old Social Darwinism to be laid to rest and replaced with a new set of . The mental association is of a Godless, amoral, ruthlessly self-interested,. 6 .. to explain social and cultural evolution, and their claim that natural selection occurs. How does Darwin's Darwinism relate to social Darwinism and eu- genics? Like many tirely unrelated. But both the nature and significance of the link are wake of the origin. The Origin did not discuss human evolution; but Darwin's peers.
- Social Darwinism
Many sociologists and political theorists turned to Social Darwinism to argue against government programs to aid the poor, as they believed that poverty was the result of natural inferiority, which should be bred out of the human population. As a massive number of immigrants came to the United States during the Second Industrial Revolution, white, Anglo-Saxon Americans viewed these newcomers—who differed from earlier immigrants in that they were less likely to speak English and more likely to be Catholic or Jewish rather than Protestant—with disdain.
Social Darwinism in the Gilded Age
Many whites believed that these new immigrantswho hailed from Eastern or Southern Europe, were racially inferior and consequently "less evolved" than immigrants from England, Ireland, or Germany. Political cartoon showing Uncle Sam lecturing a group of childlike caricatures depicting the people of Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
The "more advanced students" of Texas, California and Alaska sit in the back of the classroom, while the African American student is forced to clean the windows, the Native American student is confined to a corner, and the Chinese student is halted outside the door. Art by Louis Dalrymple, Puck magazine, Image courtesy Library of Congress. During and after World War IIthe arguments of Social Darwinists and eugenicists lost popularity in the United States due to their association with Nazi racial propaganda.
Modern biological science has completely discredited the theory of Social Darwinism.
Social Darwinism - Wikipedia
What do you think? How does it differ from Herbert Spencer's idea of Social Darwinism? How did the ideas of Social Darwinism influence politics and society in the Gilded Age?
Article written by John Louis Recchiuti. University of Pennsylvania Press, ; Carl N. Degler, In Search of Human Nature: Nietzsche's point of view on sickness and health, in particular, opposed him to the concept of biological adaptation as forged by Spencer's "fitness". Nietzsche criticized Haeckel, Spencer, and Darwin, sometimes under the same banner by maintaining that in specific cases, sickness was necessary and even helpful.
Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better.
To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race. It was adopted by emerging social sciences to support the concept that non-European societies were "primitive" in an early stage of development towards the European ideal, but since then it has been heavily refuted on many fronts  Haeckel's works led to the formation of the Monist League in with many prominent citizens among its members, including the Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald.
The simpler aspects of social Darwinism followed the earlier Malthusian ideas that humans, especially males, require competition in their lives in order to survive in the future. Further, the poor should have to provide for themselves and not be given any aid. However, amidst this climate, most social Darwinists of the early twentieth century actually supported better working conditions and salaries. Such measures would grant the poor a better chance to provide for themselves yet still distinguish those who are capable of succeeding from those who are poor out of laziness, weakness, or inferiority.
Hypotheses relating social change and evolution[ edit ] Further information: Social evolution "Social Darwinism" was first described by Oscar Schmidt of the University of Strasbourgreporting at a scientific and medical conference held in Munich in He noted how socialists, although opponents of Darwin's theory, used it to add force to their political arguments.
Schmidt's essay first appeared in English in Popular Science in March However, the use of the term was very rare—at least in the English-speaking world Hodgson,  —until the American historian Richard Hofstadter published his influential Social Darwinism in American Thought during World War II.
Hypotheses of social evolution and cultural evolution were common in Europe. The Enlightenment thinkers who preceded Darwin, such as Hegeloften argued that societies progressed through stages of increasing development. Earlier thinkers also emphasized conflict as an inherent feature of social life.
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Thomas Hobbes 's 17th century portrayal of the state of nature seems analogous to the competition for natural resources described by Darwin. Social Darwinism is distinct from other theories of social change because of the way it draws Darwin's distinctive ideas from the field of biology into social studies.
Darwin, unlike Hobbes, believed that this struggle for natural resources allowed individuals with certain physical and mental traits to succeed more frequently than others, and that these traits accumulated in the population over time, which under certain conditions could lead to the descendants being so different that they would be defined as a new species. However, Darwin felt that "social instincts " such as "sympathy" and " moral sentiments " also evolved through natural selection, and that these resulted in the strengthening of societies in which they occurred, so much so that he wrote about it in Descent of Man: The following proposition seems to me in a high degree probable—namely, that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man.
For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them. In the United States, writers and thinkers of the gilded age such as Edward L. Burgessand others developed theories of social evolution as a result of their exposure to the works of Darwin and Spencer.
InSumner published a highly influential pamphlet entitled "What Social Classes Owe to Each Other", in which he insisted that the social classes owe each other nothing, synthesizing Darwin's findings with free enterprise Capitalism for his justification. Sumner also believed that the best equipped to win the struggle for existence was the American businessman, and concluded that taxes and regulations serve as dangers to his survival. This pamphlet makes no mention of Darwinism, and only refers to Darwin in a statement on the meaning of liberty, that "There never has been any man, from the primitive barbarian up to a Humboldt or a Darwin, who could do as he had a mind to.
Instead they gave millions to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art institutes, parks and many other institutions. Andrew Carnegiewho admired Spencer, was the leading philanthropist in the world —and a major leader against imperialism and warfare.
Wells was heavily influenced by Darwinist thoughts, and novelist Jack London wrote stories of survival that incorporated his views on social Darwinism. Eugenics in Japan Social Darwinism has influenced political, public health and social movements in Japan since the late 19th and early 20th century. Social Darwinism was originally brought to Japan through the works of Francis Galton and Ernst Haeckel as well as United States, British and French Lamarkian eugenic written studies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
As Japan sought to close ranks with the west, this practice was adopted wholesale along with colonialism and its justifications.