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Racism was Shaped by Evolutionary Ideas

One of the basic tenets of Darwin’s theory is outlined in the following formula: The development of living organisms on earth is directly related to the struggle for existence. In this continuous fight the strongest wins, while weak is doomed to defeat and oblivion.

According to Darwin’s teachings, in nature there is always fierce and continuous struggle for existence and constant confrontation. Stronger and adapted organic substances and organisms are always superior to the weak, and it makes possible the further development of life.

Moreover, Darwin argued that the idea of the struggle for survival also applies to people. According to this fantastic statement, privileged races win this struggle. These privileged races, in Darwin’s point of view, were white Europeans, while African and Asian races were losing in this struggle Darwin did not stop at this and suggested that these races would soon die out altogether.

The Indian anthropologist Lalita Vidyarthi explained how Darwin’s theory of evolution imposed ideas of racism to social sciences. According to Vidyarthi, Darwin’s theory of the survival was warmly welcomed by academics, social activists, and they believed mankind had achieved various levels of developments achieved by the civilization of the white race. In the second half of the 19th century racism was accepted as a fact by a large majority of Western scholars.

While developing his theory, Darwin drew ideological inspiration from a book of British economist Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principles of Population, which was very popular in the circles of the intelligentsia of the time. In this book, Malthus conducted mathematical calculations, the essence of which was to ensure that the number of people on the Earth is too big and their reproduction should be stopped. According to the economist, mass disasters, such as war, famine and epidemic diseases are essential mechanisms of population decline, as a certain number of people must die in order to give the opportunity to live better to others. The existence of mankind is possible only due to the state of the permanent war.

Influenced by these ideas, Darwin formulated the concept of permanent conflict as a global natural phenomenon. This enabled him to say that in the struggle for the survival, the strongest always wins, and therefore has the right to exist, because the law is justified by the nature.

If in the 19th century, the idea of Darwinism has formed the theoretical basis for the ‘excused’ policy of racism, in the 20th century, the theory of evolution has provided the preconditions for the emergence of Nazi ideology.

One of the basic tenets of Darwin’s theory is outlined in the following formula: The development of living organisms on earth is directly related to the struggle for existence. In this continuous fight the strongest wins, while weak is doomed to defeat and oblivion.

Assignment ID
100000994
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CREATED ON
1 August 2016
COMPLETED ON
2 August 2016
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