Problems with Social Darwinism as an ethical system that have led me to reject it:

  • Is life mainly characterized by inter-species or intra-species struggle? While in Siberia, Peter Kropotkin observed that the natural behavior of wildlife was cooperation with other members of the same species.
  • Should humans strive to transcend their more "natural" impulses?
  • If life is characterized by intra-species struggle, is it more "natural" for human individuals to struggle against other individuals or for groups of humans to struggle against other groups?
  • Many political philosophies claim to be in accordance with natural principles, from Marxism to Anarchism to Capitalism. Logic can be used to align any dreamable system with Darwinism. (And remember, economics is only a pseudoscience.)

"Kill the poor! Eugenics forever!"

Social Darwinism was largely popularized as apologia for the robber barons of fin-de-siecle America.