PDA

View Full Version : Do Europeans believe in social darwinism and objectivis?



JanDerrek
25-04-14, 10:26
In USA, Canada and Australia people believe in social darwinism, objectivism. They generally have "the fittest survive attitude" and think that poverty, inequality and greed are inevitable and are good cuz they are natural and ruthless capitalism is the law of God.
So what do Europeans think about social darwinism?

Echetlaeus
25-04-14, 13:35
In USA, Canada and Australia people believe in social darwinism, objectivism. They generally have "the fittest survive attitude" and think that poverty, inequality and greed are inevitable and are good cuz they are natural and ruthless capitalism is the law of God.
So what do Europeans think about social darwinism?

Protestant like Europeans, maybe.

Aberdeen
25-04-14, 14:03
In USA, Canada and Australia people believe in social darwinism, objectivism. They generally have "the fittest survive attitude" and think that poverty, inequality and greed are inevitable and are good cuz they are natural and ruthless capitalism is the law of God.
So what do Europeans think about social darwinism?

Wrong. Very few Canadians believe in "social darwinism", "objectivism" or any similar nonsense. It's possible to find a few cases of such mental illness here, but it's not common. Based on what I've read in the American media and conversations I've had with Americans, I would say that the problem is common in the U.S., but it's still probably a minority of Americans who are that deranged. I don't know anything about the Australian situation.

mihaitzateo
25-04-14, 16:48
Protestant like Europeans, maybe.

Lol,are you serious?
Great Britain,Nordic Countries,which are Protestant countries have a very strong welfare system,they give a lot of help to people that can not find work etc.

Echetlaeus
25-04-14, 17:11
Lol,are you serious?
Great Britain,Nordic Countries,which are Protestant countries have a very strong welfare system,they give a lot of help to people that can not find work etc.

Yeah, what's your point in your statement? The protestanto-calvinistic dogma says that. The fact that they have a good welfare system is not because of Protestantism, but due to politics, i.e., they are more socialistic in that sense. After all religion in these countries is dropping rapidly.

This is what I had to say Romanian bro! And btw, I do not like the fact that UK helps so much the non-citizens (like immigrants), for it creates so many incentives to not work and innovate.

sparkey
25-04-14, 17:41
"Objectivism" is a narrow philosophy defined by Ayn Rand, a 20th century Russian immigrant to America. Few, even in America, subscribe entirely to that philosophy. However, its influence has permeated a lot of the public discourse, and could be considered an influence on things ranging from the behavior of the Federal Reserve under Greenspan to the direction of the libertarian movement in America. In fact, I'd argue that a primary difference between the modern American "libertarian" brand of classical liberalism and the current classical liberal movements in Europe would be a greater influence of Rand on the American brand. She hasn't been quite as much of an influence on European discourse.

"Social Darwinism" is something that everybody says they're against because it sounds awful and has been misrepresented in exactly the way that OP did. The thing is, not even Herbert Spencer was a Social Darwinist under that definition (http://reason.com/archives/2008/07/29/the-unfortunate-case-of-herber). The use of Darwinism by classical liberals to relate to public policy originally said something along the lines of: "Without interference, production will usually tend to improve, because better producers are more fit to survive." Nothing like: "Only fit people should survive, the rest should be in poverty and/or die." So, in America, Spencerian classical liberalism is indeed a common philosophy, and it is in Europe too, wherever you find classical liberals (like the Dutch PM or the Estonian PM for example). But "Social Darwinism," the straw man created by opponents of classical liberalism? Of course it's common nowhere.

Aberdeen
25-04-14, 20:18
"Objectivism" is a narrow philosophy defined by Ayn Rand, a 20th century Russian immigrant to America. Few, even in America, subscribe entirely to that philosophy. However, its influence has permeated a lot of the public discourse, and could be considered an influence on things ranging from the behavior of the Federal Reserve under Greenspan to the direction of the libertarian movement in America. In fact, I'd argue that a primary difference between the modern American "libertarian" brand of classical liberalism and the current classical liberal movements in Europe would be a greater influence of Rand on the American brand. She hasn't been quite as much of an influence on European discourse.

"Social Darwinism" is something that everybody says they're against because it sounds awful and has been misrepresented in exactly the way that OP did. The thing is, not even Herbert Spencer was a Social Darwinist under that definition (http://reason.com/archives/2008/07/29/the-unfortunate-case-of-herber). The use of Darwinism by classical liberals to relate to public policy originally said something along the lines of: "Without interference, production will usually tend to improve, because better producers are more fit to survive." Nothing like: "Only fit people should survive, the rest should be in poverty and/or die." So, in America, Spencerian classical liberalism is indeed a common philosophy, and it is in Europe too, wherever you find classical liberals (like the Dutch PM or the Estonian PM for example). But "Social Darwinism," the straw man created by opponents of classical liberalism? Of course it's common nowhere.

So, do you believe that monopoly capitalism and oligarchy (which are the natural consequences of unregulated capitalism) will tend to improve production? And what sort of society do you think that such an approach will produce? Didn't your country already find that out during the Gilded Age? Why repeat the mistakes of the past?

sparkey
25-04-14, 20:35
So, do you believe that monopoly capitalism and oligarchy (which are the natural consequences of unregulated capitalism) will tend to improve production? And what sort of society do you think that such an approach will produce? Didn't your country already find that out during the Gilded Age? Why repeat the mistakes of the past?

"Monopoly capitalism and oligarchy" will only result in some sectors, under certain conditions, and will be helpful sometimes, and harmful other times. They don't in themselves tend to improve production, and IMO should be broken up in limited circumstances when there is a public need at hand (i.e. public utilities or railroads). But their existence doesn't defeat the point that there's a tendency for better producers to survive and worse ones to fail.

Ua'Ronain
20-05-14, 08:37
I cannot be the only person who groans inside when they read about the classic debate of the evils of capitalism vs the evils of socialism. It is like people think it is either one of them that creates the real problem. They pick a side and learn to think of the other as the problem when they fail to understand that no matter what form of government, financing system or even what market system we use really does not matter. It is the human condition of greed, selfishness and a desire for power that will manipulate any system we create or use. In an ideal world either system should work but neither really does as there will always be those among us that does not care about the fellow man.

I have my own idea for how this happens and will try to share my thinking. I believe that the vast majority of us are indeed good people at the end of the day; and that no matter where you hail from or how you worship that we as a race are a communal people and strive to be lawful and create a stable environment for our family. But not everyone wants to be a part of the system but instead for whatever reason they want to control the system for self betterment to the detriment of the whole. These other people for whatever reason or motivation don’t have the same sense of what is right and wrong that the rest of us do and will have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to achieve their goals. I don’t know if it blind ambition, greed or simple discontent with life that puts these people into motion to perverse whatever system it is they seek to manipulate for their own personal gain. I believe that they are able to climb to power because they are willing to do things the majority of us won’t do or even consider. These men see any opportunity and they act on it plain and simple no matter the collateral damage they may cause to get there.


I don’t feel I articulated how I think very well but in a nut shell it is this. Some of us are selfish *****s no matter the system we have. They will find a way to exploit it for themselves; Capitalism, communism or socialism does not matter the ills created by each one is caused by the same kind of men.

To long didn't read: We as humans are flawed and no matter the system we use some of us will corrupt it.

LeBrok
20-05-14, 09:14
I cannot be the only person who groans inside when they read about the classic debate of the evils of capitalism vs the evils of socialism. It is like people think it is either one of them that creates the real problem. They pick a side and learn to think of the other as the problem when they fail to understand that no matter what form of government, financing system or even what market system we use really does not matter. It is the human condition of greed, selfishness and a desire for power that will manipulate any system we create or use. In an ideal world either system should work but neither really does as there will always be those among us that does not care about the fellow man.
Wouldn't you say that some systems work better than others with the whole human nature and give better results for society?

Angela
20-05-14, 14:13
I cannot be the only person who groans inside when they read about the classic debate of the evils of capitalism vs the evils of socialism. It is like people think it is either one of them that creates the real problem. They pick a side and learn to think of the other as the problem when they fail to understand that no matter what form of government, financing system or even what market system we use really does not matter. It is the human condition of greed, selfishness and a desire for power that will manipulate any system we create or use. In an ideal world either system should work but neither really does as there will always be those among us that does not care about the fellow man.

I have my own idea for how this happens and will try to share my thinking. I believe that the vast majority of us are indeed good people at the end of the day; and that no matter where you hail from or how you worship that we as a race are a communal people and strive to be lawful and create a stable environment for our family. But not everyone wants to be a part of the system but instead for whatever reason they want to control the system for self betterment to the detriment of the whole. These other people for whatever reason or motivation don’t have the same sense of what is right and wrong that the rest of us do and will have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to achieve their goals. I don’t know if it blind ambition, greed or simple discontent with life that puts these people into motion to perverse whatever system it is they seek to manipulate for their own personal gain. I believe that they are able to climb to power because they are willing to do things the majority of us won’t do or even consider. These men see any opportunity and they act on it plain and simple no matter the collateral damage they may cause to get there.


I don’t feel I articulated how I think very well but in a nut shell it is this. Some of us are selfish *****s no matter the system we have. They will find a way to exploit it for themselves; Capitalism, communism or socialism does not matter the ills created by each one is caused by the same kind of men.

To long didn't read: We as humans are flawed and no matter the system we use some of us will corrupt it.

I agree with your summary, which I think is slightly different from your more detailed explanation of your thinking. It's my own view of human nature not that some of us are selfish, but that all of us are, to varying degrees, and that systems which acknowledge and account for that will be more successful than those which pretend that isn't the case.

Ike
20-05-14, 16:08
I don’t know if it blind ambition, greed or simple discontent with life that puts these people into motion to perverse whatever system it is they seek to manipulate for their own personal gain.

Every time politics is involved in real life is because someone's sexual desire is not satisfied. The rest is just a bunch of bureaucratic necessities.

Aberdeen
20-05-14, 16:25
I agree with your summary, which I think is slightly different from your more detailed explanation of your thinking. It's my own view of human nature not that some of us are selfish, but that all of us are, to varying degrees, and that systems which acknowledge and account for that will be more successful than those which pretend that isn't the case.

I would say that the most successful economic systems are those that acknowledge human selfishness by harnessing it in a useful manner while not allowing it to run wild and ruin the economy. That's why the countries that have been consistently the most successful over the last few decades are countries that have governments that permit but regulate capitalism and use a progressive tax system in order to provide certain basic essentials (such as education, health care and retirement pensions) to all their citizens. That's why Germany and the Scandinavian countries have continued to prosper, while some other countries that were doing very well prior to 1980 are now having problems - countries like Britain and the U.S. forgot the lessons of the past, misread authors like Adam Smith and began to believe that the capitalism fairy would make everything wonderful as long as transnational corporations aren't taxed or subjected to meaningful regulation in their commercial activities. The result in both formerly very prosperous countries is a growing underclass and social disruption, in spite of all the wealth that continues to be generated in those countries. Those who embrace "trickle down economics" get to see the rich pissing on everyone else, and that's not an effective economic system in the long run, IMO. Of course, no political and economic system will work perfectly, and some people will always manage to game the system, but I don't see that as a reason not to try to make a better system - on the whole, regulated capitalism with some government involvement in the economy works well for many countries.