Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is an ideology of society that seeks to apply biological concepts of Darwinism or of evolutionary theory to sociology and politics, often with the assumption that conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones.

The name social Darwinism is a modern name given to the various theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, which, it is alleged, sought to apply biological concepts to sociology and politics. The term social Darwinism gained widespread currency when used in 1944 to oppose these earlier concepts. Today, because of the negative connotations of the theory of social Darwinism, especially after the atrocities of the Second World War (including the Holocaust), few people would describe themselves as Social Darwinists and the term is generally seen as pejorative.

Social Darwinism is generally understood to use the concepts of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest to justify social policies which make no distinction between those able to support themselves and those unable to support themselves. Many such views stress competition between individuals in laissez-faire capitalism; but the ideology has also motivated ideas of eugenics, scientific racism, imperialism, fascism, Nazism and struggle between national or racial groups.

Opponents of evolution theory have often maintained that social Darwinism is a logical entailment of a belief in evolutionary theory, while biologists and historians maintain that it is rather a perversion of Charles Darwin's ideas. While most scholars recognize historical links between Darwin's theory and forms of social Darwinism, they also maintain that social Darwinism is not a necessary consequence of the principles of biological evolution and that using biological evolution as a justification for policies of inequality amounts to committing the naturalistic fallacy.

Read more about Social Darwinism:  Origin of The Term, Theories and Origins, Social Darwinists, Darwinism and Hypotheses of Social Change, United States, Japan, China, Nazi Germany

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Social Effect Of Evolutionary Theory - Evolution and Ethics - Thomas Huxley: Evolution and Ethics
... of his book Evolution and Ethics debunking Social Darwinism, piece by piece ... Huxley is here attempting to disprove the science behind Social Darwinism as such, the moral arguments only come in later in the essay ... And so we have reached Social Darwinism ...
Shin Chaeho’s Nationalist Historiography - Social Darwinism
... the “I” and “non-I,” which shows a strong Social Darwinian nature ... The adoption of Social Darwinism also signifies a radical shift from traditional Confucian historiography as well as a deviation from Anarchism, since the struggles between states and nations is considered by ...
Social Darwinism - Nazi Germany
... to prevail - "strength" referring to those social forces void of virtue or principle ... Nazi ideology was strongly influenced by social Darwinist ideas is often found in historical and social science literature ... the historical development from a politically indifferent scientific Darwinism via social Darwinist ethics to racist ideology ...
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... liberal society and the dissolution of social links in bourgeois society ... Social Darwinism, which gained widespread acceptance, made no distinction between physical and social life, and viewed the human condition as being an unceasing struggle ... Social Darwinism challenged positivism's claim of deliberate and rational choice as the determining behaviour of humans, with social Darwinism ...
Social Darwinism In European And American Thought 1860-1945
... Social Darwinism in European and American Thought 1860-1945 (ISBN 052157434X) is a book by Mike Hawkins published in 1997 ... across the political spectrum, from fascism and its well documented usage of Darwinism to the usage by anarchists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries ... It attempts to give a firm definition to what Darwinism was and is ...

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