The Origin of Social Darwinism:

It is not known who created the theory of Social Darwinism, but there are a few people that popularized the idea.  Some people think that Herbert Spencer came up with the idea. This definition of Social Darwinism came from the website Social Darwinism, “Social Darwinism is a quasi-philosophical, quasi-religious, quasi-sociological view that came from the mind of Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher in the 19th century. Others think that the idea was thought up by Charles Darwin in his book Origin of the Species. Even though Darwinism is named after Darwin, Spencer created the term “survival of the fittest.” Spencer even had some writing out on evolution before Darwin did.  Even with all this information known it is still a mystery who exactly came up with the idea of Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism is defined differently by many people. One example is from the book American History.  This book by Alan Brinkley states Social Darwinism as “a harsh theory that argued that individuals who failed did so because of their own weakness and ‘unfitness'” (528).  Social Darwinism on the website Social Darwinism and Elitism as “a late nineteenth-century sociological theory that was based on the theories of biological evolution and natural selection put forth by biologists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace and on social philosopher Herbert Spencer’s theory of sociocultural evolution, ‘survival of the fittest.'”  As you can see from these definitions that the definition of Social Darwinism is very different in the eyes of different people.  The only part of the definition that is similar is the idea of the “survival of the fittest.”  This idea is the main part of Social Darwinism.

 Social Darwinism Today:

In modern times, Social Darwinism was used by the Nazis and by capitalists.  They both believed and followed the idea of the “survival of the fittest.”  They thought they were superior to the Jews, so they tried to exterminate them.  The Nazis Social Darwinism applies to race while the capitalist’s belief is economic productivity.  Capitalist deny any comparison of themselves to the Nazis.

The idea of “survival of the fittest” doesn’t apply as much today.  Instead, it is a natural selection of people in society.  People have stereotyped Social Darwinism as a form of capitalism and socialism.  Some people even think that it is supporting Hitler’s ideas of a superior race.  This is why so many people have trouble defining what Social Darwinism really is in society today.  Social Darwinism is looked at by some people today as the “survival of the richest.”  Social Darwinism is becoming more popular with the rich because they are considered the fittest because they have been so successful and made lots of money. 

So is there an argument that capitalism was designed by men who are if not deeply racist, then at the very least subconsciously so in that capitalism was designed for white people, by white people to succeed at the expense of black people? It certainly seems to be the case if capitalism is measured by its outcomes, this, quite apart from the brutalising effects of slavery and colonialism on the black races? Consider for a moment the prejudicial lending practices of the Bretton-Woods institutions apropos Africa and other third world countries? Arguably, it seems to me to be white people fulfilling their own prophecies in respect of “survival of the fittest” which is really a mantra for the survival of the white races at the expense of all other races. One can even argue that the global system of neo-capitalism is deliberately structured to keep Africa, the diaspora and other third world countries in a perpetual state of debt peonage, or is there any other reason why African countries consistently fail measured against the most basic economic metrics?