Social Darwinism

social DarwinistSocial Darwiniansocial DarwinistsSocial-Darwinistsocially DarwinisticDarwinianDarwinian capitalismDarwinismDarwinisticDarwinists
Social Darwinism is the application of the evolutionary concept of natural selection to human society.wikipedia
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Émile Gautier

Emilie Gautier
The social Darwinism term first appeared in Europe in 1880, the journalist Emilie Gautier had coined the term with reference to a health conference in Berlin 1877.
He coined the term "social Darwinism".

Richard Hofstadter

Hofstadter, RichardHofstadter, Richard,Hofstadter, Richard.
The term was popularized in the United States in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter who used it in the ideological war effort against fascism to denote a reactionary creed which promoted competitive strife, racism and chauvinism.
In 1942, Hofstadter earned his PhD and in 1944 published his dissertation Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860–1915, a commercially successful (200,000 copies) critique of late nineteenth-century American capitalism and its ruthless "dog-eat-dog" economic competition and Social Darwinian self-justification.

Herbert Spencer

SpencerSpencerianSpencer, Herbert
But some scholars argue that Darwin's view gradually changed and came to incorporate views from other theorists such as Herbert Spencer. The process includes competition between individuals for limited resources, popularly but inaccurately described by the phrase "survival of the fittest", a term coined by sociologist Herbert Spencer.
Given the primacy which Spencer placed on evolution, his sociology might be described as social Darwinism mixed with Lamarckism.

Survival of the fittest

survivalstruggle for existenceDarwinian struggle
The process includes competition between individuals for limited resources, popularly but inaccurately described by the phrase "survival of the fittest", a term coined by sociologist Herbert Spencer.
Though Spencer’s conception of organic evolution is commonly interpreted as a form of Lamarckism, Herbert Spencer is sometimes credited with inaugurating Social Darwinism.

On the Origin of Species

Origin of SpeciesThe Origin of SpeciesOn the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
After the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, one strand of Darwins' followers, led by Sir John Lubbock, argued that natural selection ceased to have any noticeable effect on humans once organised societies had been formed.
Darwin's attempts to find a translator in France fell through, and the translation by Clémence Royer published in 1862 added an introduction praising Darwin's ideas as an alternative to religious revelation and promoting ideas anticipating social Darwinism and eugenics, as well as numerous explanatory notes giving her own answers to doubts that Darwin expressed.

Ernst Haeckel

HaeckelHaeckel, Ernst Ernst Haeckel
An important proponent in Germany was Ernst Haeckel, who popularized Darwin's thought (and personal interpretation of it) and used it as well to contribute to a new creed, the monist movement.
He became a key figure in social darwinism and leading proponent of scientific racism, stating for instance:

Sociology

sociologistsociologicalsociologists
The process includes competition between individuals for limited resources, popularly but inaccurately described by the phrase "survival of the fittest", a term coined by sociologist Herbert Spencer.
Lastly, as argued by Raewyn Connell, a tradition that is often forgotten is that of Social Darwinism, which brings the logic of Darwinian biological evolution and applies it to people and societies.

Darwinism

DarwinianDarwinistDarwinian evolution
The term draws upon the common meaning of Darwinism, which includes a range of evolutionary views, but in the late 19th century was applied more specifically to natural selection as first advanced by Charles Darwin to explain speciation in populations of organisms.
What is now called "Social Darwinism" was, in its day, synonymous with "Darwinism"—the application of Darwinian principles of "struggle" to society, usually in support of anti-philanthropic political agenda.

Sociocultural evolution

social evolutionismsocioculturalcultural development
Hypotheses of social evolution and cultural evolution were common in Europe.
Some forms of early sociocultural evolution theories (mainly unilineal ones) have led to much-criticised theories like social Darwinism and scientific racism, sometimes used in the past to justify existing policies of colonialism and slavery and to justify new policies such as eugenics.

Natural selection

selectionselectiveselected
The term draws upon the common meaning of Darwinism, which includes a range of evolutionary views, but in the late 19th century was applied more specifically to natural selection as first advanced by Charles Darwin to explain speciation in populations of organisms. Social Darwinism is the application of the evolutionary concept of natural selection to human society.
Herbert Spencer and the eugenics advocate Francis Galton's interpretation of natural selection as necessarily progressive, leading to supposed advances in intelligence and civilisation, became a justification for colonialism, eugenics, and social Darwinism.

Benjamin Kidd

Kidd
The expansion of the British Empire fitted in with the broader notion of social Darwinism used from the 1870s onwards to account for the remarkable and universal phenomenon of "the Anglo-Saxon overflowing his boundaries", as phrased by the late-Victorian sociologist Benjamin Kidd in Social Evolution, published in 1894.
Kidd is characterized as a "social darwinist".

Charles Darwin

DarwinDarwinianCharles
The term draws upon the common meaning of Darwinism, which includes a range of evolutionary views, but in the late 19th century was applied more specifically to natural selection as first advanced by Charles Darwin to explain speciation in populations of organisms. Scholars debate the extent to which the various social Darwinist ideologies reflect Charles Darwin's own views on human social and economic issues.
The term "Social Darwinism" was used infrequently from around the 1890s, but became popular as a derogatory term in the 1940s when used by Richard Hofstadter to attack the laissez-faire conservatism of those like William Graham Sumner who opposed reform and socialism.

Evolutionism

evolutionistevolutionistsevolution
The term draws upon the common meaning of Darwinism, which includes a range of evolutionary views, but in the late 19th century was applied more specifically to natural selection as first advanced by Charles Darwin to explain speciation in populations of organisms.
Social Darwinism

Positivism

positivistpositivisticpositivists
In many ways, Spencer's theory of cosmic evolution has much more in common with the works of Lamarck and Auguste Comte's positivism than with Darwin's.
The early sociology of Herbert Spencer came about broadly as a reaction to Comte; writing after various developments in evolutionary biology, Spencer attempted (in vain) to reformulate the discipline in what we might now describe as socially Darwinistic terms.

Gilded Age

the Gilded AgeGilded-Age19th century capitalism
In the United States, writers and thinkers of the gilded age such as Edward L. Youmans, William Graham Sumner, John Fiske, John W. Burgess, and others developed theories of social evolution as a result of their exposure to the works of Darwin and Spencer.
Nevertheless, many business leaders were influenced by Herbert Spencer's theory of Social Darwinism, which justified laissez-faire capitalism, ruthless competition and social stratification.

Auguste Comte

ComteComteanComtian
In many ways, Spencer's theory of cosmic evolution has much more in common with the works of Lamarck and Auguste Comte's positivism than with Darwin's.
The early sociology of Herbert Spencer came about broadly as a reaction to Comte; writing after various developments in evolutionary biology, Spencer attempted to reformulate the discipline in what we might now describe as socially Darwinistic terms.

Wilhelm Ostwald

OstwaldFriedrich OstwaldFriedrich Wilhelm Ostwald
Haeckel's works led to the formation of the Monist League in 1904 with many prominent citizens among its members, including the Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald.
He used the Alliance's forum to promote Social Darwinism, eugenics and euthanasia.

Social effects of evolutionary theory

opposition and supportsocial realm
Social implications of the theory of evolution
The theory of evolution by natural selection has also been adopted as a foundation for various ethical and social systems, such as social Darwinism, an idea that preceded the publication of The Origin of Species, popular in the 19th century, which holds that "the survival of the fittest" (a phrase coined in 1851 by Herbert Spencer, 6 years before Darwin published his theory of evolution) explains and justifies differences in wealth and success among societies and people.

Cultural evolution

evolution of cultureculturalculture
Cultural evolution
Despite the stereotypical image of social Darwinism that developed later in the century, neither Ritchie nor Veblen were on the political right.

William Graham Sumner

William SumnerWilliam G. Sumner
In the United States, writers and thinkers of the gilded age such as Edward L. Youmans, William Graham Sumner, John Fiske, John W. Burgess, and others developed theories of social evolution as a result of their exposure to the works of Darwin and Spencer.
William Graham Sumner was influenced by many people and ideas such as Herbert Spencer and this has led many to associate Sumner with social Darwinism.

Universal Darwinism

Darwinianevolution
Universal Darwinism
However, this evolutionary tradition was largely banned from the social sciences in the beginning of the 20th century, in part because of the bad reputation of social Darwinism, an attempt to use Darwinism to justify social inequality.

Scientific racism

biological racismrace scienceracial biology
Scientific racism
In the early 1930s, the Nazis used racialized scientific rhetoric based on social Darwinism to push its restrictive and discriminatory social policies.

Transhumanism

transhumanisttranshumaniststranshuman
Transhumanism
Some critics of transhumanism see the old eugenics, social Darwinist, and master race ideologies and programs of the past as warnings of what the promotion of eugenic enhancement technologies might unintentionally encourage.

Society

societiessocialsocietal
Social Darwinism is the application of the evolutionary concept of natural selection to human society.

Lamarckism

Lamarckianinheritance of acquired characteristicsneo-Lamarckism
Spencer published his Lamarckian evolutionary ideas about society before Darwin first published his hypothesis in 1859, and both Spencer and Darwin promoted their own conceptions of moral values.