Interesting social sciences/Social Darwinism

Criticism of Social Darwinism and Nazism.

English subtitles exist in this video.According to the Nazis, the signs of the highest race are blond hair and a long skull. If a person did not pass this examination for thoroughness, then he was sent for sterilization or to a gas chamber. The fate of Russia is to bury Nazism both in fascist Germany.

The ideas about struggle for existence and about natural selection in biology and sociology

In 1879 George Bouverie Goddard depicted "The Struggle for Existence" as a fight to the death between wolves

The idea of social evolution through natural selection was formulated by Thomas Robert Malthus for first time. In his opinion, the systems of assistance for the poor people are ineffective. His ideas were used as justification for amendment to the New Poor Law in 1834 in England, this poor people were placed in the conditions of brutal regime of Workhouses. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace had formulated its ideas about the struggle for existence and about natural selection after reading the of book of Thomas Malthus.

Thomas Robert Malthus as a founder of science about population growth (demography)

Thomas Robert Malthus

Its main book is “An Essay on the Principle of Population”. Thomas Robert Malthus argued that food’s production growths in the world in arithmetic progression (1,2,3,4, 5 ...), whereas population of Earth growths in geometric progression (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 …). This leads to a situation when most of people will meet with the threat of starvation inevitably. Only strength and cruel people will be able to survive in such conditions.

That people could avoid poverty and starvation, epidemics and wars for a piece of bread, Thomas Malthus has proposed the following measures for a solution of the problem of overpopulation:

  • refusal of marriage of poor people,
  • respect for strict moral standards before marriage,
  • refusal of programs of the social help to the poor people. [1]

Further, the idea of control above birth rate as a means of struggle with the disproportionate increase of quantity for population had become to play a central role in the concept of so - called Neo-Malthusianism. People are located in the social hierarchy on the principle of most adapted, elite is the most adapted people, the poor people are the least adapted people.

The theory of biological evolution of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

According to this theory of Charles Darwin, four factors of evolution of living beings operate in the biosphere:

  • Heredity.
  • Genetic variation.
  • Struggle for existence,
  • Natural selection of the most adapted living beings.

The essence of this theory is expressed in the following theses:

  • Huge extent to the individual variability of the signs exists within one species. Two absolutely identical living beings don't exist.
  • All living organisms have the ability to quick reproduction. If extermination didn't exist, then the posterity of one pair can cover all Earth quickly.
  • Living resources are limited therefore a struggle for existence exists, struggle for the place under the Sun (struggle for life and an opportunity to have healthy posterity) exists, struggle between living beings of one specie exists, struggle between living beings of different species exists, struggle with an environment exists.
  • The strongest, most adapted living beings survive in this struggle. These living beings have those deviations which turned out advantageous accidentally in these conditions of environment. Deviations arise in the heredity accidentally, as if God play in dice. Descendants of survived living being inherit useful deviation and these descendants turn out more adapted to these conditions of environment.
  • Survival and preferential reproduction of the adapted living beings is a natural selection.
  • Natural selection of separate living beings of one specie in different conditions of the environment leads to a divergence of signs and to formation of new species. [2]

One difficult problem was detected within the theory of evolution under the life of Darwin already. Mathematician Fleeming Jenkin indicated that favorable deviations should dissolve under reproduction. Founder of genetics Gregor Mendel had decided this problem. Gregor Mendel has proved that specie signs written in their genes cannot dissolve under reproduction, and specie signs are transferred to posterity or specie signs are nor transferred to posterity in unchanged entity. Dominant genes and recessive genes exist. The dominant gene suppresses recessive gene under reproduction, but recessive gene can appear in unchanged entity in the second and following generations.

Social Darwinism and racism

Francis Galton
A human skull and measurement device from 1902.
Cephalic index
Arthur de Gobineau
Anders Retzius
The main gate into Auschwitz concentration camp, where an estimated 1.1 million people were killed.

The Nazis had plausible scientific explanation of own monstrous experiments. Nazism was beaten during World War II decisively but Nazism was not refuted scientifically. Scientific refutation of social Darwinism and racism as scientific fundamentals of Nazism is my purpose. This purpose becomes especially relevant in connection with the revival of Nazism even in Russia in the form of Chechen nationalism.

The idea of evolution through natural selection soared in the air in the 19th century. Cousin of Charles Darwin Francis Galton had founded a new science ‐ eugenics as science about selection of humanity with help of artificial selection. To select high-gifted human race, it is necessary to create material stimuluses for encouragement of marriage and acquisition of children of those who will undergo successfully the procedure of intellectual testing. These ideas have found application in fascist Germany where "the racial hygiene" has found the embodiment in examination on thoroughbredness, in compulsory sterilization and in destruction of "defective" people in concentration camps and gas chambers.

Darwin theory made the stunning success in biology. Some sociologists who are conditionally united within such direction as social Darwinism have solved with help of a method of analogy to apply the principles of biological evolution to society and by that to repeat scientific success of Charles Darwin. Herbert Spencer considered that the Universe, society, social institutes and the person undergo evolution under the law of survival of the strongest people therefore Herbert Spencer criticized the government for subsidies for the poor people. People and organizations have to develop, relying only on own forces, weak people have to die or "to leave a scene". These ideas were very close to the American colonists on the Wild West where losers perished simply.

Arthur de Gobineau considered that the death of all civilizations comes because of impossibility to retain the purity of race long terms that ethnic mixtures lead to degenerate of humanity, that an unavoidable hierarchy of races exists, that the white race is the most beautiful and strong, that family of the Aryans is the best among representatives of the white race. According to Arthur de Gobineau, Negroes are too sensitive and unable to rational self ‐ control, and "the yellow race" is imbued with a utilitarianism, diligence, search of advantage and benefit therefore heroic impulses and high achievements are unknown to "the yellow race". The white race is sole historic race, white race is the most beautiful, intelligent and strong. Just the representatives of white race had created all great civilizations. The Aryans is a race of the rulers, which cared about the purity of own breed, for example, with help of prohibition to conclude the marriage between representatives of different castes in India. Sometimes facts contradicted to theory of Arthur de Gobineau, for example, Arthur de Gobineau named the traditional version of the Greek ‐ Persian wars as the monstrous lie in his book “The world of the Persians”, because Aryans of Darius 1 and Xerxes I could not be worse then “semitezed” Greeks.

Anthropologist Georges Vacher de Lapouge considered that blond dolichocephalic people is the best race type thus blond hair and “long” skull is signs of the best race. The concept of “cephalic index” was introduced by the Swedish anatomist Anders Retzius in the 1840. Otto Ammon organizes large number of anthropological researches among recruits and students. Sometimes the facts contradicted to this hypothesis, for example, some geniuses turn out to brachycephalous people (“roundhead”) and then Otto Ammon was forced to write them into false brachycephalous people. Ludwig Gumplowicz considered that the unit of social selection is not man, but the unit of social selection is ethnic group or social class. Ludwig Gumplowicz considered that the State is organization domination of the minority over majority, that the State had arisen as the result of the struggle between hordes.

Social Darwinism has a deep ideological communication with the racist writers and anthropologists. An entity of ideas this racist writers consist in that the best races exist and defective races exist, because it need organize an artificial selection in concentration camps in the form of destruction or sterilization of defective people. Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Ludwig Woltmann were the representatives of this direction. Houston Stewart Chamberlain called to the revival of a mythical “Arian” spirit. Houston Stewart Chamberlain had announced in work “The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century” (1899) the creation of the Teutonic culture as the highest achievement of European history. These ideas provided the title of “people's thinker” in the Third Reich for Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Ludwig Voltmann claimed on basis “genealogic” research about German origin such notable creators of Italy and France as Dante Alighieri, Leonardo de Vinci, Titian, Torquato Tasso, Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

From the point of view of Nazism if the German nation wished to survive, then German nation as to "pure race" must destroy of Jews as representatives of "defective race". Adolf Hitler had named own coming to power as racial revolution. Adolf Hitler considered that the State is just a tool of struggle for interests of race. Adolf Hitler considered that the Marxism plans consecutive transfer of power in the world in hands of Jews, that еhe October revolution of 1917 in Russia was the Jewish revolution. Adolf Hitler had adopted in 1933 Decree about hereditary health according to which operations on sterilization were performed in clinics in relation to disabled people and in prison hospitals in relation to recidivists. The final decision about the sterilization were taken by special courts consisting of two doctors and one judge which were appointed officially. As E. Ristov wrote in 1935, sterilization’s operation could not be delayed even in connection with pregnancy of victims, at the same time pregnancy had to be interrupted. Ovaries either were removed, or tied at the woman according to the decision of such court. Woman was forbidden the departure abroad to restore the functions of ovaries even with help of foreign surgeons. Process on killing of individuals in case of their incurable disease were begun under the decree of 1939. [3] Professor Jena’s University in period of Nazi Government G. Gunter had named heritages anthropology’s features of the Nordic race: the high height (average height of men ‐174 centimeters), narrow face, high nose with narrow nostrils, narrow mouth, coming forward chin, which produces the impression of courage, light skin with flush, blond soft and not very thick hair.[4] Incidentally, himself Adolf Hitler and the Minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels were unlikely to be able to undergo the procedure of examinations on thoroughbredness because Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels was brunet and Adolf Hitler had low sloping forehead. Therefore, Joseph Goebbels made by ideal of Aryan woman his wife – high blond woman with blue eyes which has many children.

Criticism of social Darwinism and racism


A transition exists in the course of human history from prevalence of fight for own life in the relations of the person with other people and animals to prevalence of the conflicts for the status of the controller and conflicts for a sphere of influence in the relations of the person with other people. Representatives of social Darwinism did not saw these differences, this representatives of social Darwinism considered that only a fight for own life and for own existence exists in society, as well as in the biosphere. Therefore the attempt of the representatives of social Darwinism to apply the theory of Charles Darwin into society had finished unsuccessfully. Social Darwinism had given incorrect prognosises and incorrect recipes of development of society for this reason.

Mechanism of social evolution differs from mechanism of biological evolution in following signs:

  • Conflict happens in society most often not for life, but for the status of the controller, for sphere of influence and for resources, therefore, loser does not die in society usually and loser becomes object of control.
  • If development takes place through stages (formations) in society, then periods of the predomination of any species, such as dinosaurs exist in the biosphere. If civilizations are the unit of selection in society that biological species are the unit of selection in the biosphere. If the essence of any species can be expressed with help of set of physiological signs and a set of information put in genes of representatives of this specie, then essence of any civilization is a set of social inventions which are applied at construction of social structure of this civilization. For example, social structure of modern Russian society has developed at the expense of assimilation of such Western social inventions, as the market competition, private property and representative democracy as a result of reforms Boris Yeltsin. The creation of a system of global world will not cancel, but rather will aggravate this global rivalry between civilizations, where civilizations ‐ leaders will change each other more often, for example, speed of development of China outstrips speed of development of Western Europe and the USA today.
  • The strongest and most adapted organism wins in biosphere, and such man wins in society which is armed by the most effective tools.
  • The speed of social evolution is more then the speed of biological evolution in one thousand times approximately. For example, the Life had arisen on Earth about 4 billion years ago, and society had arisen 40‐30 thousand years ago.
  • If generator of changes is a mechanism of genetic variation in the biosphere then generator of changes is creative ability of human mind in society.

The main mistake of racist writers was that this racist writers called, in fact, to establish privileges for the “best” race and to building of caste system. These privileges limit course of the conflicts that results, on the one hand, to social stagnation, to falling of competitiveness among oligarchs. On the other hand, establishment of a caste system leads to switching off of channels of social mobility when born rulers from bottom of society can't make legal career and born rulers are forced to arrange social revolution with the purpose of physical extermination of oligarchs. The caste system is constructed on "powder keg" always. The caste system is constructed on the insuperable conflict between "upstarts" and "degenerates".

Racist writers had proposed to build the world’s domination of the German nation, and Adolf Hitler had tried to embody this ideal in life, but Adolf Hitler had suffered the full crash. Adolf Hitler had built the tyranny and totalitarianism, which are more backward form of government and backward political regime compared with a representative democracy. Fascist and eugenics experiments on selection of the best race with help of artificial selection contradict to the principles of humanism and democracy. The Nazis tried to organize in practice the physical destruction of Jews and Gypsies. 6 millions of the Jews have perished as a result of Nazi experiment roughly. Attempt of Adolf Hitler to build in practice an utopia about world’s domination of the German nation and attempt of Adolf Hitler to begin the World War II had caused to the deaths of 55 million men that including 27 million 500 000 of Russians approximately. The crash of the fascist experiment had showed that attempt to organize the artificial selection of people is doomed to failure.

Humanity builds the global world today, where inevitable migration and intermingling of various nationalities and races happens. There are not the place for the policy of “racial hygiene” (artificial selection of nations with help of forced sterilization and destroying of peoples in concentration camps) in the global world today. Nationalism of advanced Nations was beaten decisively as a result of the World War II, but nationalism of backward Nations threatens to world much more today. Any empire, such as Roman Empire, Empire of Alexander Macedonian, Russia or the USA arises with help of the conquests and any Empire is a melting pot, where nation mix. Propaganda of nationalism in such multinational countries like Russia and USA can lead to civil war, and civil war is worst for this countries.

Conclusion: the results of the Nazi experiments to embodying in life of social Darwinism theory had horrified the entire world. The theory of evolution of Charles Darwin is only a special case of the my general theory of interrelation between social conflict and social control.

Citations and references.

  1. Thomas Malthus. An Essay on the Principle of Population. London 1798.
  2. Charles Darwin. On the Origin of Species.
  3. George L. Mosse. Nazi Culture. Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life in the Third Reich.
  4. George L. Mosse. Nazi Culture. Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life in the Third Reich.