Social Darwinism

This began in the nineteenth century as a way of supporting natural selection and the basis that the species best suited to survive any given situation would prevail over the lesser beings. The actual concept of Social Darwinism was not the idea Charles Darwin presented, but the confirmation people needed. The main issues relevant to this theory are business, sexism and racism. From generation to generation, all species change slightly over time.

Organisms of very type share similarities with their ancestors. Sometimes children will show similarities from their grandparents, great-grandparents or ever further back. If a certain individual has a superior trait which will help them survive more effectively, that individual’s offspring is more likely to also show that trait. Variations in the traits are on a genetic level and these variations happen randomly at different intervals in time. These beneficial traits will prosper but most mutations don’t show up in offspring and will not be passed to future generations.

Social Darwinism pass the philosophical beliefs into business practices in modern day. The survival of the fittest concept is proven if one takes a look in Fortune magazine. The best businesses will move on through monetary success and popularity and those businesses who fail will not be passed on. Each generation produces new and better ideas. As business progresses, people will have more information available to them whenever, wherever they need it. Andrew Carnegie states, “The law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, [but] it is best for the race in every department. The Gospel of Wealth, 1889) The adaptation theory in Social Darwinism encourages those in business to work harder to be on top to show greater success. When we think about business and success, many people think of males. In our history, the woman’s role is mainly in the home, providing for their husbands and being a fertile ground. Social Darwinism shows that men are the more fit sex and women are weak. Although physically women as a whole are generally weaker than men, this theory has some imperfections. But, what this theory does not show is the ntelligence of women.

More recently, success is defined regarding intelligence as opposed to physical strength, so the survival of the fittest theory does not exclude women. Looking deeper, the sexist theory does not always ring true. The greatest influence in the sudden development of racism in the 19th century Europe was the replacement of the Christian belief that “God created all people equal” by “Darwinism”. By suggesting that man had evolved from more primitive creatures, and that some races had evolved further than others, it provided racism ith a scientific side.

The element of Darwinism which appeared most appliable to the development of society was the belief that the excess of population over the means of support was a constant struggle for survival in which it was the strongest or think that some races were morally better than others In conclusion, people can take parts of the Social Darwinism theory to apply to modern day ideas such as business. sexism and racism. Charles Darwin’s ideas may not always be seen as true but for now, it shows many possibilities.

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