[ExI] 'Survival of the fittest' ??

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jan 11 14:27:41 UTC 2020

On Sat, 11 Jan 2020 at 07:16, Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> ### Well, yes - real libertarianism is "live and let live", and this also implies "live and let die".
> I am not my brother's keeper. Removal of legal sanctions for using and selling dangerous drugs
> would certainly facilitate infliction of self-harm, and some people who are too timid to use drugs
> now might become victims of their own stupidity - well, so what? We may offer good advice in
> the spirit of the good Samaritan but if this advice is not heeded, I do not feel guilty for whatever
> happens. The only situation where this does not apply is of course children and other wards
> but that's a different story.
> _______________________________________________

This interpretation is based on the now discredited Social Darwinism
belief system.

Social Darwinists believe in “survival of the fittest”—the idea that
certain people become powerful in society because they are innately
better. Social Darwinism has been used to justify imperialism, racism,
eugenics and social inequality at various times over the past century
and a half.
Darwin rarely commented on the social implications of his theories.
But to those who followed Spencer and Malthus, Darwin’s theory
appeared to be confirming with science what they already believed to
be true about human society—that the fit inherited qualities such as
industriousness and the ability to accumulate wealth, while the unfit
were innately lazy and stupid.

Unlike Darwin, Spencer believed that people could genetically pass
learned qualities, such as frugality and morality, on to their
Spencer opposed any laws that helped workers, the poor, and those he
deemed genetically weak. Such laws, he argued, would go against the
evolution of civilization by delaying the extinction of the “unfit.”
Eugenics became a popular social movement in the United States that
peaked in the 1920s and 1930s. Books and films promoted eugenics,
while local fairs and exhibitions held “fitter family” and “better
baby” competitions around the country.
The eugenics movement in the United States focused on eliminating
undesirable traits from the population. Proponents of the eugenics
movement reasoned the best way to do this was by preventing “unfit”
individuals from having children.
During the first part of the twentieth century, 32 U.S. states passed
laws that resulted in the forced sterilization of more than 64,000
Americans including immigrants, people of color, unmarried mothers and
the mentally ill.

On the other hand, many great human projects involved large numbers of
humans working together, assisting each other in tasks which required
many different levels of ability and experience.


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