Please explain how these beliefs can arise from the idea of Social Darwinism. 1. The rich are special and to be admired. 2. The poor, including their children, are unfit. 3. The rich should not...

Please explain how these beliefs can arise from the idea of Social Darwinism.

1. The rich are special and to be admired.

2. The poor, including their children, are unfit.

3. The rich should not help the poor as it interferes with natural selection.

4. The poor are encouraged to blame themselves for their poverty. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I assume that you are asking us to explain why Social Darwinism causes people to believe each of these things.  If so, here are the answers.

  1. The rich are special—to be admired.  According to Social Darwinism, the rich are the people who are most fit for surviving and prospering in our society.  Therefore, they are essentially the best people and we should admire them.
  2. The poor, including their children, are unfit.  If the rich are the people who are most fit, then the poor are the people who are least fit.  They lack the characteristics that are needed to succeed in our society.  To some degree, these characteristics (or the lack thereof) can be handed down.  This means that their children will also tend to be unfit.
  3. The rich should not help the poor because that interferes with natural selection.  If the rich help the poor (or if the government does) the poor will prosper even though they are not fit for our society.  This will be bad for our society.  It will allow people to prosper and procreate even though they are not fit.  This will reduce the overall fitness of our population because it will allow us to have more people who have bad characteristics.
  4. Poor are encouraged to blame themselves for their poverty.  According to Social Darwinism, the poor are not poor because of bad luck or because society is unfair.  They are not poor because society has failed to give them enough opportunities.  Instead, they are poor because they are not good enough.  They lack the qualities needed for success.  Therefore, their poverty is their own fault.  Social Darwinism encourages them to think in this way.
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