The Corner

Requiem for Social Darwinism

This is a very comprehensive assault on the prevailing understanding of “social Darwinism.” Eric Michael Johnson’s essay is a bit too rambling at times, but it is very welcome and good reading nonetheless.

Readers of my book might remember that I have nothing but contempt for the term and the way it is used. The basic point is this: Social Darwinism — as advocated by its supposed creator Herbert Spencer — was essentially libertarian. Classical liberals like Spencer never embraced the term, it was used by progressive enemies of laissez-faire to denounce a hands-off approach to economics generally and the eugenic question in particular. The progressives — whom Eric Goldman called “reform Darwinists” — were the real eugenicists. But the reform Darwinists get airbrushed from history, while Spencer has been blamed for everything from American sterlization laws to Nazi horrors. It’s welcome news that this intellectual slander is finally unravelling.

Most Popular

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Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

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Media

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Media

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Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More
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Hell, No

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National Review editorial ... Read More
Elections

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Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National Review editorial ... Read More
Music

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Music

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Elections

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Elections

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