Here we are, at the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. All over the country, fundamentalists are gnashing their teeth and rending their garments in despair. For our elite, however, this anniversary is a cause for quiet celebrations, and I say quiet less their celebration upsets the religious right that worships them in the mistaken belief that Christ was a capitalist.
The reason for this celebration is that the upside of Darwin’s Origin of the Species is its bastard child, Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism takes his theory of the survival of the fittest and finds social implications in it. If only the fit survive, then it follows that those who don’t survive are unfit.
The leading proponent of this theory was Herbert Spencer. Spencer was to Capitalism what de Sade was to sex. He believed that because fitness equaled money, lots of it, it followed that the poor were unfit, and that the feeding and housing of the poor was a mistake, because it only allowed them to survive and pass their unfitness on to their offspring.
He was your kind of guy, George. But where you and he really have a lip-lock is in his belief that the Caucasian male capitalist of Northern European descent stood at the apex of social evolution, and that on the Great Chain of Being, the Anglo-Saxon Protestant was right there at the top, tucked into God’s belly button.
Poverty is the product of a flawed character. The problem with welfare is that it nurtures and encourages this flaw. If you pull welfare and all other services for the poor, you facilitate that outburst of energy that is the beginning of all conversions, the existential scream.
This scream encourages the poor to take the first step towards financial independence—a life of crime. This is a real plus since all of capitalism is grounded in crime. After all, today’s crime is tomorrow’s law.
So, let us pause to honor Darwin. Our country was forged by the fittest who survived, and our future leaders will be those men who claw their way to the top of the heap. And if a man’s family fortune allows him to purchase his survival, then that is proof positive that he is indeed blessed by the Almighty.