The Influence Of William Sumner's Ideas On Society

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William Sumner's ideas on society were similar to those of Spencer's. He had two social principles that apply to society. The first is the law of survival of the fittest, where only the strongest species will survive to reproduce. The second is the competition of life, which is the struggle for people to survive among each other. Although his principles are similar to Spencer's, he did believe people should get some help from the government. "He did, unlike Spencer, favor public education... and he also favored efforts to improve the conditions of women and children at work" (Boller 57). This was all the public help Sumner favored. Anything more than this would be socialistic, which is any force that enables people to avoid the struggles for the existence in life. Furthermore, Sumner explains that giving the poor advantages in society would be wrong. "To…show more content…
The only way to avoid this would be to take from the rich and give to the poor. Still, this is wrong because the poor would not know how to use power, and they do not deserve it. It would destroy liberty by taking fit people's deserved wealth, and would create more equality. This is why like Spencer, Sumner also believed the poor should be left off to die. "Sumner shed no tears over the lot of the poor and underprivileged; they were where they were because of what they were... Nature is working away at him to get him out of the way" (58). Sumner thought there were two ways in which society would progress immensely. The first would be by getting rid of the poor, which would benefit us greatly since there would be more room for fit people. The second is by giving people a little help in life to see how far they can get on their own. This will force people to work hard, and allow them to be prudent and wise so they can raise their children in a similar way. Sumner's ideal society would be one where there was little help from the government so only the most fit people would
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