Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Black-Hearted Conservatism

9:00 AM: Charles Darwin's famous "Origin Of The Species" written in the mid-nineteenth century, posited the theory of evolution. As a part of his theory, Darwin noted that nature has a built in mechanism to insure the survival of a species. Only the strong survive, said Darwin, and the survival of the fittest guaranteed that a species would not die out. Darwin was talking about natural mechanisms as applied to animal species over tens of thousands of years, and not about the living conditions of current day living people.

However, it didn't take greedy, heartless nineteenth century rich and powerful types long to latch on to Darwin's work, twist it, and use it for their own purposes. How can so few amass such wealth in the face of the poverty of the many? It was simply a matter of survival of the fittest. Poor people are the weak of the species. Better that they die off. The species will be all the stronger for it. Thus, the theory of "Social Darwinism" came into being, to serve the wealthy and powerful as a defense of outrageous inequality, stifling poverty, tenements, child labor, horrible working conditions, disease, and the starvation of the poor.

While this hateful theory was roundly condemned by people of conscience, it has managed to raise its ugly head time and time again. Modern day conservatives, with their blame the victim mentality are nothing less than Social Darwinists. The poor are responsible for their own condition, they believe. That's why conservatives hate social programs like Welfare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That's why they want to cut or eliminate programs designed to address poverty. They have theirs, let the poor get their own or die off. That is the theoretical underpinning of conservatism and, once again, it's not pretty.

Photo: Trumpet Fish, St. Croix


No comments: