Understanding Social Darwinism

A Rational Explanation Of Social Darwinism

From The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, written by Charles Darwin:

“Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

What Darwin is saying, is that people who don’t have the physical and/or intellectual qualities necessary to be the fittest, are not worthy to breed and so should be not allowed to. As though he is looking at a lower form of species, in need of his breeding expertise.

Further, Darwin alleges, “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. … We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is more to be hoped for than expected.”

Darwin is saying the weaker, inferior members of society really should not be allowed to propagate their kind, so “we must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak…”

Charles Darwin did not have to work. His father, a wealthy physician, saw to that. How high and noble he was to hope that the weak in body or mind refrained from marriage. Perhaps that is why one of his daughter’s did just that. Or perhaps there were no cousins who caught her fancy.

How thoughtful of Charles to consider that his brilliant deduction could very well lead to genocide. That was a tender sentiment and perhaps a model moment of moral introspection.

I wonder, given Charles’ sickly nature, how he would have survived had he lost his father’s stipend. I wonder what he would have become with seven starving children and no home.

I think, if you really consider the possibility, based on what you know of men in such shape, you will come to the conclusion of insanity and/or crime. Not because he lacked moral training, but because he had never been tested in a very dramatic way, and had he been, he might have ended up like I am.
Emotionally hulled.