Passing it off on Darwin …

23 Mar

Passing it off on Darwin:  The Republican Budget Plan and the politics of saying something is Socially Darwinist.


I’ve been thinking about this piece by Robert Reich, turning it about in my head over and over again.  Good points? … Maybe.  But I keep wondering, is he on target with it?  Is the House GOP’s plan Social Darwinist? … Perhaps it does smack of Herbert Spencer; but on that count, it’s just as correct to say that it’s as characteristic of Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Friedrich Nietzsche too in its political proportions as it is of the former.  So I’m left to think this is just more political mudslinging in an election year as it is anything else … Just more Democratic Party talking points here in the U.S. pure and simple as it is any honest, fair minded, and right headed assessment of the GOP.

Back to my question, is it Darwinist in a socially-framed context?  I’m not so sure it is.  Do I agree with it?  No.  Do I agree with the tenets of what is called Social Darwinism? Obviously not!  But at the same time, I’m not at all comfortable in putting this on Charles Darwin’s shoulders no matter what we think [or don’t think] of Natural Selection or the science/discourse of Darwinian biology.

To slough this Republican plan off onto Darwinian theory, in the form of so-called Social Darwinism or otherwise, is a maligning of Charles Darwin and the science he stood for.   Like Darwin or not, he doesn’t deserve to be associated with the Republicans in this instance nor with this plan of theirs.


03.21.12 – The Republican’s Social-Darwinist Budget Plan – Posted in General at 11:36 am by nemo

The Republican’s Social-Darwinist Budget Plan by Robert Reich

In announcing the Republicans’ new budget and tax plan Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said “We are sharpening the contrast between the path that we’re proposing and the path of debt and decline the president has placed us upon.”  Ryan is right about sharpening the contrast. …  The real contrast is over what the plan does for the rich and what it does to everyone else. This would give the wealthiest Americans an average tax cut of at least $150,000 a year.  The money would come out of programs for the elderly, lower-middle families, and the poor.  So what’s the guiding principle here? Pure Social Darwinism. Reward the rich and cut off the help to anyone who needs it.


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