Social Darwinismanditsaffectsonthe Robber


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Social Darwinismanditsaffectsonthe Robber

  1. 1. Social Darwinism and the Gilded Age Industrialist
  2. 2. Charles Darwin <ul><li>Malthusianist </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote the </li></ul><ul><li>Origins of Species </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution based on adaptation </li></ul><ul><li>The strong survive naturally </li></ul>
  3. 3. Malthusianism <ul><li>Darwin had read An Essay on the Principle of Population (1789) , by British economist Thomas Malthus. Malthus tried to prove that human populations tend to increase more rapidly than food and other necessities. The result is a struggle in which some people succeed and become wealthy while others fail or even starve. </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that starvation and poverty were natural forms of deselection. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  4. 4. Darwin’s Origins of Species 1859 <ul><li>Must have variations within a species to survive </li></ul><ul><li>Struggling and living or dying could not lead to evolution if all members of each species were exactly alike. </li></ul><ul><li>Darwin found that members of a single species vary greatly in shape, size, color, strength, and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>He also believed that most of these variations could be inherited. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  5. 5. Natural Selection or Darwinism <ul><li>Organisms with harmful variations are more likely to die before they can reproduce. </li></ul><ul><li>Useful variations are more likely to survive. </li></ul><ul><li>Survival leads to procreation and inherited helpful variations. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, the struggle for existence selects organisms with helpful variations but makes others die out. </li></ul><ul><li>Darwin called this process natural selection . </li></ul>
  6. 6. Herbert Spencer 1820-1903 <ul><li>The Evolution of Society </li></ul><ul><li>Social Darwinism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applied Darwinism to humans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some peoples adapt better than others naturally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those who adapt more efficiently dominate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Came up with the term ‘survival of the fittest’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural order observable via scientific means </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empirically evident </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Justified market economies, imperialism, colonialism, racism, and general global coercive domination that is still evident in this day and age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Herbert Spencer </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Social Darwinism <ul><li>Society should allow the weak and less fit to fail and die, and that this is not only good policy, but morally right. </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalized by the notion that colonized nations, poor people, or disadvantaged minorities must have deserved their situations because they were “less fit” than those who were better off. </li></ul><ul><li>Spencer’s publication sold over 400,000 copies in the US alone, and was one of the most influential thinkers of the late 19 th century </li></ul>
  8. 8. Eugenics <ul><li>Improvement of the human race through genetic means is called eugenics . The word eugenics comes from a Greek word that means “wellborn.” </li></ul><ul><li>Supporters of eugenics seek to change the human race through artificial selection </li></ul><ul><li>The controlled breeding of people who have certain physical characteristics or mental abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Natural jump from social Darwinism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If we celebrate natural selection, then lets speed up the process </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Robber Barons Andrew Carnegie JP Morgan DuPont Vanderbilt
  10. 10. The Robber Baron <ul><li>Defined- a set of avaricious rascals who habitually cheated and robbed investors and consumers, corrupted government, fought ruthlessly among themselves, and in general carried on predatory activities comparable to those robber barons of medieval Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>The Robber Baron Concept in American History </li></ul>
  11. 11. Carnegie Audio Quote <ul><li>This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: first, to set an example of modest unostentatious living, shunning display; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and, after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds which he is strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Audio Clip </li></ul><ul><li>Biography </li></ul><ul><li>Home http:// </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Gilded Age Business <ul><li>Birth of the corporation </li></ul><ul><li>Based on minority ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Legally established authority of a small group of directors representing stock holders </li></ul><ul><li>Power over a large diverse collection of businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Previously the American economy had been based upon individual achievement and the Protestant work ethic </li></ul><ul><li>After the ‘corporate revolution’ businesses deemphasized the human element but kept the protestant work ethic </li></ul><ul><li>Due to a surplus of immigrant workers, the businesses could minimize wages thus maximizing profits </li></ul>
  13. 13. Monopolies <ul><li>Efficiency= good business </li></ul><ul><li>Price fluxuations are bad business-difficult to plan </li></ul><ul><li>If you control the entire process from raw materials to final product then you stabilize costs of all materials and transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Created cartels to control prices </li></ul><ul><li>Stability leads to long term planning and maximized profits </li></ul>
  14. 14. Industrial Power <ul><li>CARNEGIE </li></ul><ul><li>including detailed cost and production and accounting procedures that enabled the company to achieve greater efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Owned coke fields and iron-ore deposits that furnished the raw materials for steelmaking </li></ul><ul><li>Owned the ships and railroads that transported these supplies to his mills and manufacturing plants </li></ul><ul><li>Any technological innovation that could reduce the cost of making steel was speedily adopted </li></ul><ul><li>JP MORGAN </li></ul><ul><li>As a financier, he provided the rapidly growing industrial corporations of the United States with much-needed capital </li></ul><ul><li>minimized a potentially destructive rate war and rail-line competition between railroads </li></ul><ul><li>After reorganizing railroads he became a member of the boards of directors of many </li></ul><ul><li>Held sway over a large conglomerate of railroads as he bought up their stock </li></ul>
  15. 15. Survival of the fittest in business <ul><ul><li>struggle to survive was a matter of business, not philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laissez-faire economics allowed for maximization of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working inside the confinements of the law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some wanted the Sherman Anti-trust Act so that they would understand exactly what was lawful and not </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Businessman's Perspective <ul><li>Industrialists desired efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Revolution was a positive that eventually led to progress </li></ul><ul><li>Business domination was the order of the day </li></ul><ul><li>Business was a day to day struggle in which your ability to adapt was key to survival </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses still adapting today </li></ul>
  17. 17. Academic Perspective <ul><li>Social Darwinism seems to be a perfect fit to explain the monumental rise of the corporation that ‘enslaved’ its workers because of the survival of the fittest ideal. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Critical Thinking <ul><li>If the Gilded Age Industrialist was a raging Social Darwinist then where is the evidence? </li></ul><ul><li>Struggle for existence is defining the industrially fittest to survive </li></ul>
  19. 19. Entrepreneur Vs. Social Theorist <ul><li>There is little evidence that these businessmen designed there activities around a social theory </li></ul><ul><li>The only confirmed Social Darwinist was Carnegie who claimed Spencer as a personal friend. In his autobiography Carnegie claims ‘seldom has one been more deeply indebted that I to him and Darwin’. </li></ul><ul><li>How does this explain Carnegie’s philanthropy? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Congressional Committees <ul><li>During committee meetings investigating antitrust issues in the early 1900’s, many entrepreneurs were questioned </li></ul><ul><li>When asked about their thoughts on social Darwinism one Roeliff Brinkerhoff, a banker replied, ‘he was a Social Darwinist insofar as it affected his religious beliefs, not his social view’. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Mellon, founder of the Mellon banking fortune claimed in his 1885 autobiography devoted 15 pages to evolution, all dealing with its impact on religion. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of these entrepreneurs were merely exercising their protestant work ethic. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Congressional Committees <ul><li>Benjamin Brewster testified to Congress in 1889 that there were natural laws governing business, but they had nothing to do with evolution, but rather the laws of supply and demand. </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Academics <ul><li>Many of the proponents of Social Darwinism were thinkers, not doers. </li></ul><ul><li>College professors, journalists, newspaper editors, sociologists, philosophers, clergymen, and other educationally advantaged persons. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Entrepreneurs <ul><li>Many had little formal education </li></ul><ul><li>One claimed that he didn’t have time to read books, he was trying to run a corporation. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Quotable Quotes <ul><li>The growth of the large business is merely the survival of the fittest, the working out of nature and a law of God- JD Rockefeller Jr. </li></ul><ul><li>The time has come to do away with needless waste- JD Rockefeller </li></ul><ul><li>Competition: we cannot evade it. And while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest .-A. Carnegie </li></ul>
  25. 25. Quotable Quotes <ul><li>A man who accumulates great wealth has a duty to use his surplus wealth for the improvement of mankind in philanthropic causes- A. Carnegie </li></ul><ul><li>A man who dies rich dies disgraced- A. Carnegie </li></ul>
  26. 26. Social Darwinism and War <ul><li>The leaders of Europe on the eve of World War I were mislead by the Social Darwinist dogma. They thought that war was a biological necessity. </li></ul><ul><li>We needed WW I to prove who will dominate. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Bibliography <ul><li>Bannister, Robert C. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The Survival of the Fittest is our Doctrine&quot;: History or Histrionics? </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of the History of Ideas , Vol. 31, No. 3. (Jul. - Sep., 1970), pp. 377-398. </li></ul><ul><li>Stable URL: </li></ul><ul><li>Bridges, Hal </li></ul><ul><li>The Robber Baron Concept in American History </li></ul><ul><li>The Business History Review , Vol. 32, No. 1. (Spring, 1958), pp. 1-13. </li></ul><ul><li>Stable URL: </li></ul><ul><li>Dudden, Arthur P. </li></ul><ul><li>Men Against Monopoly: The Prelude to Trust-Busting </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of the History of Ideas , Vol. 18, No. 4. (Oct., 1957), pp. 587-593. </li></ul><ul><li>Stable URL: </li></ul><ul><li>William Graham Sumner, Social Darwinist </li></ul><ul><li>Hofstadter, Richard </li></ul><ul><li>The New England Quarterly , Vol. 14, No. 3. (Sep., 1941), pp. 457-477. </li></ul><ul><li>Stable URL: </li></ul><ul><li>Trachtenberg, Alan. </li></ul><ul><li>The incorporation of America : culture and society in the gilded age. New York : Hill and Wang, 1982. viii, 260 p. </li></ul><ul><li>Weikart, Richard </li></ul><ul><li>The Origins of Social Darwinism in Germany, 1859-1895 </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of the History of Ideas , Vol. 54, No. 3. (Jul., 1993), pp. 469-488. </li></ul><ul><li>Stable URL: </li></ul><ul><li>Woodruff, W. </li></ul><ul><li>History and the Businessman </li></ul><ul><li>The Business History Review , Vol. 30, No. 3. (Sep., 1956), pp. 241-259. </li></ul><ul><li>table URL: </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Darwin, Charles. Britannica Student Encyclopedia. Retrieved March  7, 2005, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online. < http:// =231232 > </li></ul>