Site Loader

Social Darwinism got its name due to the similar foundation it has to Charles Darwin’s concepts of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Darwin used these concepts to explain evolution. Learn about how these concepts are applied socially.

Definition of Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is the conflict between social groups which results in the most socially capable or fit group coming out on top as the winner, usually in terms of influence and wealth.

Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot

Premium Partner
From $18.00 per page
4,8 / 5
4,80
Writers Experience
4,80
Delivery
4,90
Support
4,70
Price
Recommended Service
From $13.90 per page
4,6 / 5
4,70
Writers Experience
4,70
Delivery
4,60
Support
4,60
Price
From $20.00 per page
4,5 / 5
4,80
Writers Experience
4,50
Delivery
4,40
Support
4,10
Price
* All Partners were chosen among 50+ writing services by our Customer Satisfaction Team

According to social Darwinism, rich people would succeed and poor people would fail.So where does social Darwinism come from? Remember Charles Darwin and his laws of natural selection and survival of the fittest? Let’s briefly review these concepts before linking Charles Darwin to social Darwinism.Natural selection happens over time, when certain characteristics disappear because a species has no use for them, other characteristics prevail. For example, evolutionists believe that ducks developed webbed feet over time so that they could swim faster. This means that the ducks without webbed feet eventually died off.

This could be because their non-webbed feet didn’t allow them to swim fast enough to escape their hunters. The ones that escaped reproduced and gave birth to more ducks with webbed feet.Another example is pesticide-resistant insects – when treated with pesticide, insects are supposed to die. Some live due to genetic modifications and reproduce, creating more pesticide-resistant offspring.Survival of the fittest refers to the most adaptable species being able to live and reproduce.

The ducks that swam faster survived, as well as the insects that were resistant to pesticide. They reproduce and create more offspring who have similar genes so that they are able to survive as well. According to this theory, over time, only the fit survive.

Creation and Controversy of Social Darwinism

Because of the name, many people think that Charles Darwin came up with the idea of social Darwinism.

This is not the case. Herbert Spencer, Walter Bagehot, and William Graham Sumner thought that the ideas of natural selection and survival of the fittest applied to people as well, especially people living under laissez-faire capitalism.Laissez-faire capitalism exists when the government does not interfere with business or personal affairs. Spencer, Bagehot, and Sumner supported the idea that without government assistance, only the socially fit would survive. This, again, meant that those with money and assets would survive and those with nothing would not.Over time, social Darwinism was criticized because of its applicability and comparisons to extreme nationalism, imperialism, and Nazism.Nationalism is when residents of one country feel that their country and way of life are superior over other countries.

Social Darwinists would support trying to convert or change others to follow their way of life because they believe it is better – an example is forced religious conversions.Imperialism is when one country’s military attempts to take over another country. Social Darwinists would support the English colonialists taking over the land of the Native Americans.

Social Darwinist examples from Nazi Germany include things like:Ads promoting discrimination towards the mentally disabled – these ads told people that mentally disabled people were costing others lots of money. Publications like these promoted the mistreatment of the mentally challenged population. Social Darwinists may say that this type of conflict is supposed to happen in order to determine who will live on.Another example of Nazi Germany was killing and mistreating Jewish people. Nazis believed the Aryan race was superior to all, but especially to the Jewish people. Jewish people were viewed was inferior and undesirable.

In order to make sure that their undesirable traits were not passed on, they attempted to kill them all.

Contemporary Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism has lost a lot of support due to people gaining an understanding of social issues and acceptance. Discrepancies among social classes still exist, but the extreme beliefs of social Darwinism have dissolved.

Lesson Summary

Social Darwinism is the conflict between social groups which results in the most socially capable or fit group coming out on top as the winner, usually in terms of influence and wealth. Natural selection happens over time, when characteristics disappear because a species has no use for them, other characteristics prevail. Survival of the fittest refers to the most adaptable species being able to live and reproduce.Herbert Spencer, Walter Bagehot, and William Graham Sumner thought that the ideas of natural selection and survival of the fittest applied to people as well, especially people living under laissez-faire capitalism. Laissez-faire capitalism exists when the government does not interfere with business or personal affairs. Over time, social Darwinism was criticized because of its applicability and comparisons to extreme nationalism, imperialism and Nazism.

Nationalism is when residents of one country feel that their country and way of life are superior over other countries. Imperialism is when one country’s military attempts to take over another country.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Eric!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out