Jun 25, 2018 in Sociology

Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism refers to an application of Darwin’s theory of evolution to the human race in terms of social, political, technological and economic aspects. This brings up the issue of natural selection in the human race where there is struggle for existence with communities, tribes and nations competing for meager resources and only the strong and the fittest survive. Also as the population increases it out grows the resources available and only the strong in the population survives leaving the weak to starve (Malthus, 1798). Social Darwinism looks into the issue of social groups, classes and empires that comprise of different human races with some considering themselves as superior than the others. Karl Pearson in his work compares two types of races; a superior race and an inferior race whereby he defines the superior race as a group of people in a nation or a nation that obtains dominance over the lesser group of people in a nation.

The superior race considers itself to be stronger culturally, education wise, economically and politically therefore destined to dominate and rule over the weaker race. The superior race is normally successful in expanding their territories, it survives in the struggle for dominance and rarely adopts the culture and language of the inferior people under their rule .The inferior race on the other hand is suppressed under the leadership of the mighty and strong and their impact is less felt in the society. They tend to be less dominant economically, socially and politically. They work under forced labor with little pay, they are less educated thus enhancing a vicious circle of poverty among this race. In addition, they are partakers of customs, languages, policies and systems of governance that are already in place.

Eventually, the inferior race becomes extinct according to the law of natural selection leaving the inferior race surviving and to dominate. This comparison relates to the British imperialism in the sense that they considered themselves superior to their colonies. They gained power and authority through territory acquisition of the native people and forced them into cheap labor, to adopt their language and culture and also to comply with their rules and policies of governance. The white Europeans were against the blacks and they considered them as people from a dark continent with no contribution to the socio-economic development of a nation and therefore did not offer them a fair treatment and justice thus perpetuating imperialism.

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