Social Darwinism is a sociological theory, according to which the laws of natural selection and the struggle for existence, Charles Darwin observed in nature, apply to relationships in human society.
Social Darwinism was popular from the late 19th century until the end of the second world war.
Elements of the theory are used by different conservative movements, by proponents of the Laissez-faire economic system and advocates of militarism.
In its extreme manifestations, S ocial Darwinism justify eugenics and racism. In their doctrines, the Social-Darwinians often used Malthusianism and eugenics to justify the superiority of hereditary properties of the dominant classes, groups, or races.
Use free sample research papers on Social Darwinism to learn that the term first appeared in Europe in 1877, and was used only by sociologists, who were against this notion. The term was popularized in the United States in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter, who used it in the ideological struggle against fascism, to denote the reactionary motto, which was used in the promotion of competitive struggle, racism, and chauvinism. In the period prior to the publication by Hofstadter the use of the term “Social Darwinism” in English-language academic journals were rare.
The term has many definitions, and some of them are incompatible with each other. In addition, Social Darwinism was criticized for being an inconsistent philosophy, which does not lead to any clear political recommendations.
Social Darwinism was used mainly in liberal societies where individualism was the prevailing view. Proponents of social Darwinism believed that the progress of society contribute to the individualistic competition. Another form of Social Darwinism was part of the ideological foundations of the Nazi and other fascist movements. This form did not suggest the survival of the fittest as social order to society, but rather justify the type of racial and national struggle, where the State provided human reproduction through eugenics. For example, representatives of such theoretical direction as Darwin Collectivism separated their views from the individualistic type of Social Darwinism. Some doctrines, popular in the 19th century, subsequently described as Social Darwinism, it seems, expected that the State would support eugenics and the Nazi race theories. Critics have often associated the development Charles Darwin ideas and Social Darwinism with racism, nationalism, imperialism, and eugenics, arguing that Social Darwinism became one of the pillars of fascism and Nazi ideology. Critics have often argued that the effects of the policy of artificial selection with the help of the concentration camps and gas chambers in Nazi Germany set up people against the theory of Social Darwinism. As mentioned above, Social Darwinism often was associated with nationalism and imperialism. During the era of new imperialism, the concept of evolution to justified the exploitation of “inferior races by higher races without any law.” The elite and powerful countries were composed of white people who have been successful in expanding their empires and thus, these powerful countries were to survive the fight for supremacy. With such an attitude to the inhabitants of the colonies, the Europeans, with the exception of Christian missionaries, rarely take the customs and language of local residents within their empire.
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