Darwin’s Theory Of Natural Selection, Social Darwinism And Hitler

2135 words - 9 pages

Social Darwinism was one of the most powerful movements in the nineteenth century Germany, believes professor Jerry Bergman. As the movement escalated, Jews became non-human to the Germans. That was one of the reasons the Nazis did not feel any remorse at the time, because they had deprived the Jews of every piece of humanity that they obtained. Social Darwinism was first brought up by British philosopher and sociologist, Herbert Spencer. Social Darwinism goes back to the earliest form, which is Darwinism. Because social Darwinism and Darwinism have similar name, people think they are the same concept, but they are two completely different theories. Social Darwinism was a way to classify the “fit” from the “unfit.” Darwinism, on the other hand, was the way species evolve through time to become more adapt to their environment. Through history, social Darwinism has appeared repeatedly. For example social Darwinism was used in the progressive and imperialism era. Social Darwinism in the holocaust differs from social Darwinism in the Progressive era or the imperialism era, by the ways that people reacted to the situations. Social Darwinism in the holocaust gave scientific justification to the actions of the Nazis (Bergman). Spencer’s theory of social Darwinism, encouraged and pushed the Nazis on subjects such as: stereotyping that led to the Jews to be acknowledged as a race, eugenics, racial supremacy, and the superior race taking out the weaker races.
Social Darwinism brings about much confusion when comparing it to the original Darwinism. Social Darwinism is the idea that one type of race is better than another type. The theory “survival of the fittest” best represents this idea. “Survival of the fittest” refers to the weaker races not being able to survive, because they weren’t as “fit” as the greater race. Social Darwinism also justified the differences between the rich and the poor, or the superior race, Aryan race, from the inferior race. Darwinism was thought of by Charles Darwin in the early 1800s. The ideas of Darwinism are: the world changes over time and that the species inhabiting the world are changing with it; we all come from a “common descendant,” and we, as the human race, have evolved into a better species; and by natural selection, the idea that the environment “edits” out the genes that are not able to survive and over time the organism that has survived will have adapted so all of it’s offspring will have the gene to adapt (Hanes). These two theories differ in the sense that social Darwinism deals with “survival of the fittest,” and Darwinism is the “struggle for survival”(Lennox). Darwinism was the starting point that soon led to the creation of social Darwinism, and Social Darwinism took the idea of survival and evolution and took it a step further.
Social Darwinism that was applied in the holocaust differed from the social Darwinism that was applied in the Progressive era, but was the same in the imperialism era. The...

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