America: civil or Darwinian ?

Somewhere along the way in America we decided to begin building wheelchair ramps for people who had physical disabilities; this is an adherence to a civil philosophy.

Darwinian philosophy, on the other hand, declares that people with physical disabilities will be preyed upon and eaten.

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Darwinian environments, by definition, necessitate the existence of a weak, vulnerable sub-population; otherwise natural selection would not occur.

Unbridled capitalism, to me, is an example of a Darwinian approach where the poverty of the losing class is natural, predictable, unavoidable.

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4 responses

  1. 99.9% of scientists, including Richard Dawkins, are appalled at the idea of taking biological evolution and applying it to a social theory. It shouldn’t be done. Just because something is one way it doesn’t mean it ought be be in other areas of life. To derive an ought from an is is a logical fallacy. Darwinian evolution is a biological fact, not a social construct: don’t confuse them to in order to talk about socio-economic systems.

  2. Capitalism, even unbridled capitalism, predates Darwin, suggesting it may be anachronistic to imply Darwinism necessarily causes unbridled capitalism. Admittedly, some post-Darwin capitalists may claim Darwinism to justify human exploitation, and I do not see anything in Darwinism that necessarily curbs the position.

    Unbridled capitalism implies materialism to either an extreme or religious end. Darwinism is a chief buttress for the worldview of naturalism (as opposed to supernaturalism), and naturalism’s appeal to civility lacks a transcendent accountability (i.e., to God, Judgment Day, karma, this-life consequences). Naturalism’s grounds for civility seems to consist largely of appeal to vested self-interest (or group self-interest) and to state enforcement.

    State enforcement may have its place in building ramps for the disabled, but power scares me (whether from plutocratic, monopolistic and unbridled capitalists or from the state). James Madison no doubt would have agreed. George Washington likened state power to fire. Fire is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    Insofar as the implied solution to unbridled capitalism is state control of the means of production, I offer this caution. Also that unbridled and super-successful capitalists use state control of the means of production for their own exploitation.

    And I argue that we human beings are forced into some form of capitalism because, again in some sense, the needs of the body demand that we supply ourselves with material (food, clothes, housing, wheelchairs, and so on).

    OK. Gloomy picture. All I can contribute is (1) Madison’s idea of competing powers and (2) accountability to the supernatural. Actually, I have one more suggestion which most people don’t want to hear. It begins by admitting that the real problem is human nature, mine included.

    Peter Rubel

  3. You have committed the naturalistic fallacy.

    Darwin’s ideas were an observation of how wild environments influence biological evolution.

    He was not talking about how humans should treat each other.

    This was a very silly article in an otherwise insightful blog. I hope you will study Darwin’s actual works before you make such errors again.

    Your implications would have been very personally offensive to Charles Darwin himself, a kind-hearted man who was appalled by the violence of the world, whether the human atrocity when “some
    poor slave was being tortured” or of wasp larvae “feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.”

    I am a socialist who appreciates science. I must warn that such lazy scholarship does no favor either to the study of biology or the advancement of socialism.

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