Ideas of white supremacy based on the theories of Robert Knox and Charles Darwin, formed the basis upon which Europeans considered themselves superior to the natives of America, Africa and Australia. After the Europeans colonialized Americas, Australia and Africa, they started persecuting natives under the guise of civilizing them. They started exploiting natural resources, mineral wealth and abundant labor often forced in order to meet demand of the industrialized west. The history of colonialism in America, Australia, Sub-continent and Africa is riddled with violent conflict, mass scale persecution, outright genocide and racial discrimination.
Social Darwinism was considered to be the fourth G after gold, glory, and god. It applied Charles Darwin’s ideas about natural selection and survival of the fittest to human societies and argued that the Europeans were superior to others. Karl Pearson (1857 – 1936) was a British professor of mathematics, who is recognized for writing and delivering the excerpts from a lecture entitled, “National Life from the Standpoint of Science,” in 1900. This time period is known to be the pinnacle point of new imperialism and the conflicts displayed in Africa. Europeans were continuing to grow alliances and colonize Africa.
Art is like that of a peacock’s tail, an extravagant display of beauty in an attempt to meet societal expectations. Yet, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray questions whether art is an expendable additive to humankind or if it has become the basis for human morality. Such a consideration draws its roots in the theory of Social Darwinism, an idea proposed by Herbert Spencer. Social Darwinism asserts that society is governed by the same laws of evolution that Charles Darwin observed in animals – that is, those who flourish are justified as being naturally fit for society, while the weak are intended to perish (Britannica). Wilde utilizes artistic forms to suggest the upper class’s obsession with materialism in order to critique their disregard for moral depravity.
Dunbar-Ortiz began her book by introducing the audience to the fact that the colonization of the Indigenous People of present-day United States and the captivation of their land by Anglo settlers was motivated by both their “belief in white supremacy” (36) and the theory of Social Darwinism, a theory which became popular in the mid-nineteenth century (39). For one, according to Dunbar-Ortiz, “skin color has been and continues to be a key component of racism in the United States” (36); racism is what fueled white supremacy to formulate, allowing for Anglo settlers to consider themselves more supreme that the Native people of North America. In addition to the perception of white supremacy, Anglo settlers were also influenced by the concept of Social Darwinism, in which English scientists theorized that people of color “has descended from apes, while the English were descendents of ‘man’ who had been created by God ‘in his own image’” (39). Both the concept of white supremacy and the Social Darwinism theory allowed for Anglo settlers to continue with the mistreatment of the Indigenous, for their actions seemed to be justified by both a racial point of view and a religious point of view. However, the colonization of the
As stated earlier the white monitory felt under threat and fear the extinction of the race as a whole and eugenics was perceive to be their last hope (Reference). Just as Britain had used eugenics in the classification of social status based on race; eugenics enabled the so-called “hereditary defects” to be segregated from society to protect the purity of the white race (Reference). Eugenics lay behind the construction of segregationist ideology in South Africa (Reference) as Professor Susanne Klausen. Each person belonged to the race where the texture of hair and skin color matched (Reference). Furthermore the Hassle on the distinctiveness of different cultures meant the burden of explaining human differences; eugenics was seen as the most efficient way of doing so.
The only things Zoos can teach is what happens when you hold a wild animal against its own will and instinct or any being for the matter. It is extremely stressed that humans as the superior species should respect to the confines of the natural world as every living being has an evolutionary purpose and the world functions only when things coincide in a harmonious relationship between man and the natural
So why support immigration then under this model? His ideas also provided insights into Darwin’s models that would argue for the value of a mass human extinction. Eugenics also can give thanks to Malthus for providing a bedrock for their frameworks due to his zero-sustainable growth model. In a way, Malthus’s predictions of episodes of mass death has taken place not because it was naturally so but because it was believed to be so.
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is a case in point. Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species had already made the British aware of the connection between the humans and the animal world. The British considered themselves as holding the highest point in the ladder of evolution and, for obvious reasons, considered the natives as closer to the lower animals. The association between the natives and animals served to justify the need to colonize them.
Darwinism offered a new way to explain biology, but a problem though arose when this theory applied to humans. The theory claimed that those of European decent were in fact the fittest, were subhuman. The theory then gave a new justification to racism. Latin America also displayed these racist ideas. For example, Sarmiento claims that the only hope for
However the theory that had the most impact came from Charles Darwin 's theory on “natural selection” and the survival of the fittest”. He taught that if evolution had changed other species why hadn’t it done the same to the human race. This helped justified the expansion of the Great British race across the world. The other races being exterminated on the
Not to taint my research with your ideas of racism and twisted power relationships. You have rearranged my hard-earned research into something that has tainted the name of Darwinism. I had a long battle inside myself for many reasons to come to the realization that I should publish my findings. However, you make me disappointed with my decision.” As Darwin stands on this fictional stage, he speaks to the audience of Social Darwinists; I am defining Social Darwinism as a societal idea that promotes the biological
In 1607, the first wave of colonial settlers arrived in Virginia and began to establish Jamestown. Many of the new settlers came from wealthy families never performing a day of manual labor. With agricultural farming, being the revenue source of the new colonial settlers there would soon be a great demand for labor. Contracts of indentures were expiring and with much devastation in England, there was a shortage of English servants.
A 19th century philosopher, Herbert Spencer, promoted the idea of social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. The social Darwinism follows the mantra of “the strong survive.” this theory was used to promote the idea that the white europeans race was superior to others. Many people who are social darwinist embraced laissez-faire capitalism and racism.
A Rhetorical Analysis of William Graham Sumner William Graham Sumner had a great influence on Social Darwinism in the nineteenth century. Sumner was a Sociology professor at Yale University, who adopted the idea of Social Darwinism because of his belief in the survival of the fittest. Even though he did not fully commit to Social Darwinism, he did promote the idea of the constant struggle against nature. He explains that in order for survival, one needs to struggle and compete with nature to provide our basic human needs of food and water. During the Gilded Age, businessmen and the middle class men supported the theory of Social Darwinism which was first introduced by the pioneers of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer.
Social Darwinism and the Social Gospel Movement are contrasting systems of belief. Social Darwinism suggests that people are in the social or financial state that they deserve. This appealed to the work ethic that anyone could do well if they worked hard enough. For some, this was a source of inspiration to work hard to excel.