Darwinism in the Modern Context.

As we all already know about Darwin’s theory describing the nature species, his influences has also impacted a wide range of topics including political and economic thinking. “Natural selection” is a very simple foundation of thinking, some characteristics are better for survival than others, and so are going to be spread in the population. For this class, i started to apply into the human relationship.Started in the 19th century, during the industrial revolution, the middle class, including the bankers were anxious to attack the hereditary privilege, in order to undermine the lingering power of the aristocracy. Thus, they all agree that the society should allow everyone to compete freely for power and wealth, with the most competent shall emerge on the top, which they meant to protect their own benefits. Besides that, they also prefer that the government not spending the taxes on helping the lower classes, as it would just give the poor less reason to compete by working hard.

In this 21st century, Darwinism has a huge impact in our modern economics. The survival of today’s society is based on the monetary value. In this case, Darwin’s theory seized upon as a scientific proof that fierce competition was nature’s method for improving the world, this is known as “Social Darwinism”, according to Herbert Spencer. But the problem emerged from such belief is that the eventual goal of a capitalist creating a monopoly, at it reached a point that competition and evolution ceased. For example, a worker is paid for his 14 hours labor, but with no pensions, healthcare or education. In this sense of competition, there is no fairness, due to the manipulation of the rich and the powerful. As the children of the rich inherited their parents wealth, giving them an immense advantage, regardless or whatever ability they might possess. So, in the perspective of extreme social Darwinist, it seemed that a person’s future was largely determined from birth. This creates a contradiction, because the free-market economist stated that the poor should work their way out of poverty, as help would make them lazy. But now, the social Darwinist now said that the poverty is genetically determined, so nature should remove the unfortunate, as there was no point in helping them. In another words, the social Darwinist economist believed that nature should be allowed to correct the problem with a higher death rate. For such circumstances, how is it different from the brutal policies of the Nazies during the World War 2?

It seemed to me that Social Darwinism misunderstands the term “Evolution”, basing on the views on the idea that nature is unsparingly “red in tooth and claw”.  Remember that we are humans, the top in the food chain kingdom. We should be able to recognized that cooperation was a key factor in the evolution of our own species and of others. It is true that during the events of evolution such as the World War or Civil War, groups and early societies which cared for the ill, and for each other and used trade of skills and resources to cement social ties were more successful than those which were less cooperative. We as a human race no longer rely solely on instinctive behaviour, but we have the capacity to make intelligent assessments of the world around us and understand how our actions affect others.

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  1. This is an intersting post. I agree with the idea that Darwinsim has a big impact on our modern economics as you said in your post. I agree that there is a cycle. The poor stay poor often and the rich stay rich often as well. Overall I enjoyed reading your post and agree with much of what you say.

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