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Born-again Social Darwinism: Survival of the Morally Unfit

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After demonizing comes scapegoating by blindedlove1

Considering how the fringe right enshrines its own perverse "survival of the fittest," you'd think Tea Partiers would warm to Darwinian "evolution" -- if only to justify concentrated wealth and power as "natural."  "Whatever is, is right," the poet Pope says, endorsing the great chain of being.    Is not Christian history one grand upward arc towards rapture and redemption -- assuming fundamentalist dominion over mankind, subservient woman, dark-skinned foreigners, aliens, and nature's bounty?

Let contradictions reign: a righteous ruling class scorns modest "handouts" to poor, sickly minorities (the "morally weak") but lives high on the hog with cheap, federalized mortgages, corporate welfare and subsidies, unending war profits and permanent defense monopolies, plus unemployment benefits, Social Security, and Medicare.  Of course the "profit-creators" all deserve princely treasures for they've worked to the bone for it.

Haves, after all, lord over have-nots for good, right and identifiable reasons, not from mere luck.  Did not 19th C. U.S. armies, defending federal railroad subsidies, "win the west" for good, pioneering Tea Party ancestors?   Scattered farmers and ranchers never would have defeated (or corralled) native Americans with single-shot rifles, nor later firmly locked out millions of competing immigrants -- especially less protestant, less white, nor from northern Europe.   

From slavery through Indian massacres, 20th C. imperialism and Japanese internment, American history is a march of big government brutality founded on two convictions: "might makes right" enhanced by "white makes right."  This history culminates in all its wondrous contradictions with Tea Party fanatics -- of late paying odd homage to obsolete Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism is that late 19th C. crock that misapplied Darwin's genetic, biological dynamics for species differentiation to radically distinct sociological phenomena. The co-opted catch-phrase, " survival of the fittest ," applied pseudo-science to rationalize all sorts of intact "natural" inequalities and oppression.   Assuming all races, states, and cultures were in constant, violent competition, Social Darwinism ended up glorifying not just laissez-faire capitalism but, per Wikipedia, "ideas of eugenics , scientific racism , imperialism, f ascism , Nazism" and permanent struggles between "racial groups."  Oh my, born-again racism on the march.

Haves Have Bigger Guns

If the ruthlessly fittest survived best in nature, so the logic went, then cultural-military superiority is natural, with violence obscured by unfeeling Christian Sunday sermons.  Haves aren't more moral but have bigger guns, thus current NRA types in our peace-loving realm sanctify arms like sacred relics, awarding them great rights and prominent home positions.

Neither sociologist nor political historian, Darwin could not have anticipated such perversion of his biology. His fittest only mattered when able to procreate widely, increase their gene pool and adapt better to habitat niches. Darwinian evolution didn't propose warlike jungle morality, nor short-term triumphs of the well-armed over the unarmed.  And as a progressive notion, evolution could never deify the status quo -- nor the earth being 5000 years old.

Yet, does not this standard take on Social Darwinism fit the Tea Bag mental case? 

The most extreme ideological expression of nationalism and imperialism was Social Darwinism. In the popular mind, the concepts of evolution justified the exploitation of 'lesser breeds without the law' by superior races. This language of race and conflict, of superior and inferior people, had wide currency in the Western states. Social Darwinists vigorously advocated the acquisition of empires, saying that strong nations-by definition, those that were successful at expanding industry and empire-would survive and that others would not. To these elitists, all white men were more fit than non-whites to prevail in the struggle for dominance. -- Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society

Of course, today's Tea Party Tribal Revenge Gang enshrines its bloodthirsty impulses by distorting Jesus as well as Darwin.  That strident Christians dare equate their Executioner's Mask for Jesus' compassion only speaks to a blind, tribal arrogance, a triumph of authoritarian fervor over compassion.  Nowhere can one imagine Jesus approving torture or turning the other cheek to the dying sick because they missed a medical insurance payment.  In today's religious circus, the saved get full medical options not only because they have the cash but because a punitive God figures the coming rapturous theocracy will need them for battle.

Bare-knuckled Scapegoating

This week, the Tea Party showed its fangs, taking ruthless, ideological fixations to a weirdly logical extreme -- kill-the-pigs scapegoating.   They gloated about the purity of capital punishment (severely biased against minorities), irrational wars against foreigners (darkly-bearded Muslims), and the weak dying young -- what? thus "evolving" the species.  Darwin made no claims the fittest were by definition morally superior to the has-beens, just better adapted for reproductive dominance. 

It's one thing to oppose a national insurance plan, assailing its faux parade of Death Panels.  It's another for Christians to justify letting the sick get sicker because, wonder to behold, avoidable illness wiped out savings.  Thus becomes the new Christian meek who "inherit the earth" by getting buried in it, prematurely -- contrary to anything Jesus taught.

We should expect before public executions come back into vogue (show off the murderers, orates Rick Perry) the right must further demonize enemies (like Obama), then go full tilt to vigorously scapegoat less "real Americans."  Thus, the mantra is no compromise -- take-no-prisoners when dealing with evil, secular liberals who defend abortion or gay rights -- even sharing the wealth.  So, say the high and mighty, storms carry moral lessons from God who scapegoats a few godless sinners.  

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Educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English) Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92. From '92-02 he did marketing (more...)
 
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If the Tea Party's callous and gaseous moral depra... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 11:12:28 AM
Not only are they Social Darwinist, but they have ... by Amanda Lang on Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011 at 10:33:37 AM
I remember Ann Coulter's line from a few years bac... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011 at 12:00:32 PM
Like any other book of law ever written by the han... by Donald on Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 1:01:29 PM
I don't disagree but that dread hasn't yet hit my ... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 1:32:00 PM
The rightward and backward direction of American s... by Arlen Grossman on Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 2:09:37 PM
Are you not confusing gene species pool with moral... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 5:46:30 PM