Compare and contrast social darwinism and survival of the fittest  

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Social darwinism refers to the white supremacist, colonial concept that non-Europeans are inherently inferior to Europeans, specifically Western Europeans. Social darwinism was aggressively spread by racist pseudo-scientists and sociologists who were interested in promoting a white supremacist worldview and justification for horrific colonial acts, such as slavery, land theft, political, social and economic oppression of non-white people, and outright genocide. The term "social darwinism" is inappropriately derived from Darwin's theories of evolution and his concept of "survival of the fittest". This term does not exclusively mean that the strongest and fastest animals survive, but also refers to how strong packs/herd/interspecies relationships aid in survival. As such, many biologists were deeply offended by the term "social darwinism" and correctly pointed out that the term was nothing more than pseudo-scientific racism.

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Social Darwinism was used an a way to explain how certain people "prospered" and others did not. Herbert Spencer was credited with the term. Social Darwinism encouraged racism and imperialism as it stated that certain groups of people who were not Anglo-Saxon White Protestants were destined for lesser things in life. In time, according to Spencer, the "lesser" groups would either change or their way of life would totally die out. Spencer's goal was for laissez-faire governmental practices in economics and politics that would let "nature take its course" and would let business dominate. Proponents of Social Darwinism rarely cited Darwin in their arguments.

"Survival of the fittest" was a Darwinian argument applied to living things. It is similar to Social Darwinism in that it implies that in life there are "winners" and "losers." However, "survival" does not necessarily mean biological success, as many species are "successful" by producing food and shelter for other species. Many Darwinists criticize Social Darwinism as an attempt to justify treating other groups inhumanely.

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