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Reply #17: Darwinism [View All]

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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Darwinism
I agree that equilibrium (also known as sustainability) is essential, and that an overperforming species can bring about its own demise by destroying the ecosystem that sustains it.

Scientific Darwinism is an explanation of natural processes that have shaped life on this planet over billions of years. Equilibrium is automatically achieved by adaptation to resources, environment, and competition.

Social Darwinists attempt to justify the disparities of wealth and power in a system of unregulated capitalism as the "natural order" of human civilization -- the survival of the fittest. They argue against regulation and Socialism as impediments to beneficial competition and the natural course of human achievement.

In my opinion, the Social Darwinists are wrong on 3 counts:

1) "Nature" as applied to the activities of human beings is all-encompassing. Competition between the systems of capitalism and socialism is part of natural selection on a macro-scale. They are both equally valid from the perspective of impersonal natural selection. If one prevails over the other, by definition it was the fittest.

2) The system advocated by the Social Darwinists -- unregulated capitalism -- is not sustainable because it consumes the resources and poisons the environment upon which we depend. In my opinion, we need a hybrid that rewards hard work, innovation, and enterprise, but within a democratic framework that collectively provides purposeful direction.

3) Social Darwinism is a reality in that we all function within the constraints that nature places on us, and that we cannot escape the natural consequences of our activities. However, using this to argue against any form of regulation or collective management is to say we are no different than the animals of the jungle. It is a rejection of human compassion, and of the religion which the poltical party of the Social Darwinists uses to their great advantage.
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