Last month, the Marxist-in-Chief blasted the Republican budget proposal as “thinly veiled social Darwinism.” Evidently it was too thinly disguised for anyone but him and his adoring Left-media hacks. In reality, the market is the antithesis of social Darwinism, which in reality has been the domain of the Left.
Unfortunately, even most conservative parents send their children to government schools, so they are more likely to fall for Obama’s cheap rhetoric. After all, in these schools, members of the fanatically Democratic teachers’ unions indoctrinate their captive audiences in leftist thinking. This includes the false claim that a free market means the “strong” (wealthy) exploit the “weak” (poor).
Certainly, the Darwinian hypothesis is all about “survival of the fittest,” which is really death of the unfit, and even, maybe, eventually their extinction. This is also the official religion of the government schools, so in one sense, the Democrats have themselves to blame if people want to apply this to society.
The Market v. Darwinism
However, this is nothing like the market. By definition, this means free choices of buyer and seller, and no use of force to compel economic transactions. Also, making a profit is evidence that people want the product, while a loss is a signal that not enough people want it (see also my earlier Patriot column Socialism: Stupidity and Arrogance). This will usually mean that scarce resources will end up in their most wanted places.
This will mean that many businesses will fail, if they do not provide what people want at prices they are willing to pay. We can remember the huge number of jobs related to the horse-and-buggy, icebox, and typewriter industries. These businesses are all but extinct. But, following Obama’s logic, we might think that all their workers became extinct too.
But in a free market, the people themselves are not eliminated. Rather, they must retrain to provide what more people want. So although millions of jobs were eliminated in those industries, the vast majority of workers found jobs in other industries. Indeed, if the unprofitable industries didn’t disappear, there would be no workers available for the replacement industries: cars, refrigerators, and word-processors.
This simple point has been missed by the critics of our likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Even though he was not my favorite candidate, I wrote a column Defending Romney where it’s due, which explains these points further.
It should be obvious that we have immensely benefited from the advances made in the free market, even though it must proceed by “creative destruction” of unprofitable jobs. My previous column,The Economic Pie: how to refute liberals, documents how almost everyone in America, even the “poor,” are far better off today than the average American of a few decades ago, and the average European of today.
Economist Dr. George Reisman pointed out in his book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics(1998):
“Economic competition is not a process by which the success of the biologically fit bring about the extermination of the biologically weak. On the contrary, it is the process by which the success of better products and more efficient methods of production promotes the survival and well-being of all. It is a process in which the success of the more able raises the productivity and improves the standard of living of the less able.” [Emphasis in original]
The envy-mongers on the Left would destroy this rise to prosperity (see previous column Leftist envy-mongering: Equality v Freedom, especially the Margaret Thatcher clip).
Democrats are the real “social Darwinists”!
In contrast to the freedom of the Market, leftists believe in the very Darwinian concept of force. That is, they overrule the free choices of millions of buyers and sellers by force, to impose their vision of “equality.” But this means crushing real equality of opportunity and replacing it with equality of outcome, except for the politically connected. There is a certain irony, as recently stated by noted economist and columnist Dr. Thomas Sowell:
“People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.”
Leftists and eugenics
And far worse than that, the “progressives” were at the forefront of the ultimate social Darwinism: eugenics. This word comes from the Greek εύ (eu) meaning “well” and γένος (genos) meaning “kind” or “offspring.” However, what it really amounted to was trying to prevent the “unfit” to breed, including sterilization against their will. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson signed New Jersey’s sterilization law.FDR, the Depression-prolonging President, was also a staunch supporter of eugenics, like most leading Democrats, as was his distant relative, the Progressive Republican Teddy Roosevelt.
These eugenicists led to laws banning so-called mixed-race marriages in 27 states, and forced sterilization of over 60,000 US citizens. They were also looked on with favor by the National Socialists in Germany in the 1930s, with the horrific results that are all too familiar.
Eugenics was pure Darwinism. First, the term itself was coined by Darwin’s first cousin, Francis Galton. Then, as noted by Dennis Sewell in his 2009 book The Political Gene: How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics:
“[In the] years leading up to the First World War, the eugenics movement looked like a Darwin family business. … Darwin’s son Leonard replaced his cousin Galton as chairman of the national Eugenics Society in 1911. In the same year an offshoot of the society was formed in Cambridge. Among its leading members were three more of Charles Darwin’s sons, Horace, Francis and George.”
Further proof of its Darwinian nature can be found in a little-known source: the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Most people have a distorted view of this trial from the play Inherit the Wind. In reality, this trial was largely over the right to teach from the textbook in his textbook A Civic Biology by George William Hunter. This taught among other things, “The science of being well born is called eugenics,” and was blatantly white supremacist, asserting:
“At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the others in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.”
This is a major reason why Williams Jennings Bryan opposed teaching from this book, which the ACLU ardently defended. Bryan had actually been the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for President three times, but while he loved big government almost as much as Obama, he broke with the party on eugenics.
Another leading eugenicist was Margaret Sanger, the black-hating, KKK-loving founder of Planned Parenthood, the infamousabortion and sex-trafficking business Planned Parenthood. (“Planned Parenthood” at the end of this sentence is redundant.) Sanger explicitly wanted to use abortion to reduce the numbers of blacks, whom she called “human weeds”. But despite this, PP is one of Obama’s favorite organizations: the House voted to defund it, but Obama and the Dems said “nope” and the appeasing RINOs caved. Yet this organization has killed more blacks than in all the decades of lynching (also by Democrats—see Patriot column The Left’s War on Blacks).
Obama’s demagoguery deliberately smears the good name of free-market capitalism, which has done so much to make America’s poor far better off than most people in the world. And it obscures the reality that leftists have long supported social Darwinism—not only in the economy, but also in the horrific eugenics programs.