Social Darwinism An idea that the future would be characterized by “the survival of the fittest was once introduced by Herbert Spencer. Spencer’s idea can be linked to natural scientist Charles Darin’s theory of evolution. Unlike Darwin, Spencer’s idea is referring to society rather than nature. Today Spencer’s idea is known as Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism was built on the principle that success would come to the most intelligent, ambitious, and productive people, who quite properly advanced their interests at the expense of the less able. Spencer endorsed this idea because he believed that this process would gradually improve society.
For his opinion, Spencer was widely applauded by early industrialists who wanted to keep their big businesses free of government regulation. Even though many liked Spencer’s ideas many objected it also. Many people thought that in a new industrial age that there was a need for programs that would assist the poor. From Spencer’s point of view welfare was bad for society and that it used social resources on its least worthy members.
Spencer’s idea of Social Darwinism gradually fell out of favor among social scientist and has been discredited by some facts that have since come to light. We know now that a person’s ability only partially accounts for personal success, and favoring with the rich isn’t in the interest of society as a whole. Spencer’s ideas have been dismissed by many as very heartless with little room for human compassion.