Monday, April 16, 2012

Goldberg: Fantasies of Social Darwinism

> One reason the term “Social Darwinism” caught on with progressives was that it served to divert attention from the sins of “reform Darwinism” — i.e., the progressive passion for eugenics. The progressives advocated aggressive statist intervention to improve the genetic stock of the country, while the alleged Social Darwinists championed laissez-faire and private charity and—gasp—reproductive freedom. Moreover, the term Social Darwinism, which in Europe was used to justify nationalist and racist theories of the Hitlerian variety, was the perfect label for playing guilt-by-association in America. Ever since Hofstadter’s book, liberals have used the term to accuse conservatives of desperately wanting to return to a past that never was.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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