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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

"The Choice in 2012"

Robert Reich on the unsocial nature of social Darwinism:

The Choice in 2012: Social Darwinism or a Decent Society, by Robert Reich: ...President Obama ... kicked off his 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney with a hard-hitting speech centered on the House Republicans’ budget plan – which Romney has enthusiastically endorsed.

That plan, by the way, is the most radical reverse-Robin Hood proposal propounded by any political party in modern America. ... Here’s what the President had to say about it:
Disguised as a deficit reduction… it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism.
We are likely to hear a lot more about social Darwinism in the months ahead. It was the conservative creed during the late 19th century – legitimizing a politics in which the lackeys of robber barons deposited sacks of money on legislators’ desks, and justifying an economy in which sweat shops were common, urban slums festered, and a significant portion of America was impoverished....

Its chief apostle in America was Yale Professor William Graham Sumner. Here’s what Sumner had to say in his social-Darwinian classic “What Social Classes Owe to Each Other” (1883):
Let it be understood that we cannot go outside of this alternative: Liberty, inequality, survival of the fittest; not-liberty, equality, survival of the unfittest. The former carries society forward and favors all its best members; the latter carries society downwards and favors all its worst members.
Could there be a better summary of what today’s regressive Republicans believe?

    Posted by on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 12:15 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (94)


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