Social Darwinism

  

Definition

Theory of social selection that attempts to explain the success of certain social groups. Based on the laissez faire doctrine with heavily racial bias, it interprets 'survival of the fittest' concept to mean that only the best adapted (those already well off) survive the ‘natural conflict’ between social groups and thereby enhance the survival capacity of the remaining society. Popular in the 19th and 20th century Europe and USA and embraced by the Nazis, it has nothing to do with the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-82) or his theory of natural selection, and precedes the publication of his book 'Origin Of Species.'

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