Herbert Spencer, a 19th century philosopher, promoted the idea of Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is an application of the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. In its simplest form, Social Darwinism follows the mantra of "the strong survive," including human issues. This theory was used to promote the idea that the white European race was superior to others, and therefore, destined to rule over them.
At the time that Spencer began to promote Social Darwinism, the technology, economy, and government of the "White European" was advanced in comparison to that of other cultures. Looking at this apparent advantage, as well as the economic and military structures, some argued that natural selection was playing out, and that the race more suited to survival was winning. Some even extended this philosophy into a micro-economic issue, claiming that social welfare programs that helped the poor and disadvantaged were contrary to nature itself. Those who reject any and all forms of charity or governmental welfare often use arguments rooted in Social Darwinism.
After the President’s recent meetings with representatives from both parties from the Congress to try to get some bipartisan agreement on the so called Deficit Crisis, most commentators concluded that there were clear ideological differences between the two parties. Duh! The problem is that these differences extend to the whole nation as well and the split is pretty close to 50-50. The Democrats see Medicare, Social Security, universal health care and other social safety net programs as a necessity while the Republicans see them as a an excess in government spending. The conservative ruling base of this political party represents a large portion of this nation who truly believe that they do not have an obligation to take care of the basic needs of their fellow citizens to survive.
Thus, Social Darwinism. It’s based on the first rule of true capitalism Those businesses who make the most profits survive and prosper. Those who fail, go bankrupt, close up shop and fall to the wayside. That is what competition is all about. Winners and losers. Thus, those fellow citizens who are not smart enough, assertive enough or fortunate enough to provide for their own physical well being are undeserving bankrupt losers who have no right to drain the resources of the country in order to thrive. Let them go “cap in hand” to philanthropists to ask for what they need.