Herbert Spencer vs. Andrew Carnegie Vies Term Paper

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Herbert Spencer vs. Andrew Carnegie

Social Darwinism is a clear attempt to build a case for the separation of the masses from wealth, a justification of the idea that some will have much while others will barely get by, based not entirely on their actions but on some sort of predisposition to success and/or limited success. It is not to say it is racist or classist, but it does clearly lean in that direction. The survival of the fittest determines the winners and/or losers at the end of the game, but it is by a plan that is produced by nature, not by man, hence predisposition. The philosophies of the social Darwinists lean in the direction of the apologists, as if there is some guilt for success that must be answered for. A tradition, not uncommon to America, based on its mythical and real humble roots as an outpost for other's growth during imperial control which in its very nature was a spread of social material progress in other places.

When reading philosophies of Social Darwinism, such as those of the man called the father of Social Darwinism, Herbert Spencer and Andrew Carnegie, one must remove preconceived notions about wealth, privilege and any ideas of a shared utopia. Spencer in short says that the divisions of progress are determined by the laws of nature, just as the laws of nature determine the progress of a single organism, to one that is two simple cells undifferentiated to a complex system where all the different cells group together to form a differentiated organism, the heart, the lungs the kidneys. Spencer claims that communities will go, through the evolution of progress from self-contained entities where most members are employed with meeting their own needs and the needs of their families to one where most people, through the progress of roads, communications and other modes of distribution will link together in a common industry to meet the needs of the once separate larger community. (Spencer, 1857)

To Spencer progress is defined in a globalized manner, as eventually the whole of the world will be defined by this differentiation, where whole nations and regions will differentiate to a point, by recognition of the natural resources and aptitudes they share to meet the needs of the common, i.e. The rest of the world. Spencer relies heavily on the philosophies of unnamed Germans, that entail the definition of progress as one where those who have a particular aptitude, or superiority recognize natural differentiation and rise to the top. The mention of class and race, in Spencer lead one to believe that ideas of real individual aptitude are clearly lacking in the philosophy, as the individual has little more to differentiate him or her as his greater delineation of race and class. This philosophy does not account for social and/or personal diversity within race or class, and would therefore come as a surprise to many who believe in the American Ideal of the emphasis of the rugged individual as the sole destiny determiner. Though it should not come as a surprise, when one really examines the "progress" of the growth of this nation, as clearly there were a few standout individuals, who often by luck had the right idea at the right time and then amassed comparatively monumental wealth based… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Herbert Spencer vs. Andrew Carnegie Vies.  (2007, March 24).  Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/herbert-spencer-andrew-carnegie-vies/7454056

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"Herbert Spencer vs. Andrew Carnegie Vies."  Essaytown.com.  March 24, 2007.  Accessed January 20, 2020.
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