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Socialism and Darwinism, Book Review Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1652

Book Review

Research Plan

Going over the book with David Stack, The First Darwinian Left: Socialism and Darwinism, the stacker uses two ambitions. What two ambitions does Stacker use in his book The First Darwinian Left: Socialism and Darwinism? Does stack contribute to the history of the Left? The two ambitions of Stack involve, first he shows the nineteenth-century socialists that did not use the Darwinism as the tool of opportunity to the preexisting politics. Secondly, Stack warns against the folly of the growing movement to incorporate Darwinism as the basis for the new politics of the Left, which represents it clearly in his book[1]. Despite a lot of criticism, Stack had to make useful contributions to the history of the Left. He had to spark interests, raising questions and mostly provoking the irritating, and that is why there is reason to read and review his book.

Book Review

While the political labels “right” and “left” no longer pass some pleasant deal of connotation, the people commonly use them to categorize themselves with one or the other wide ideological position. In the case of the Left, there is the association with the objection to some ‘essentialism’ when it comes to accounts of human nature, in which case the Darwinian accounts see as imposing limits on human potential. Singer’s (1999) a Darwinian left politics, evolution and cooperation, in which case it draws attention to the abandoned, by both the Left and the Right, the writing in the Charles Darwin element stresses the importance of assistance  and altruism in nature, including the competition[2]. The arguments of singer are hardly new because the left greatest heroes have had to put it eloquently in the decades following the death of Darwin, the prince Peter Kropotkin in mutual aid, a factor in evolution (1902), and many writers have had to reiterate it since the time[3]. The arguments have had to be in the minority among the people on the left in the many recent years, and up to such an extent, there is the justification of such a volume by the author in reminding the readers of them. Furthermore, the author reminds because of the influential of the arguments in the earlier era.

Stack have gone ahead to underline the latter point from the beginning, and this is quite of significant help to the reader. In his preface, Stack have had to state empathically that, he sees as the primary purpose of his book as it may draw some help in forestalling the growing movement to use Darwinism as the basis for the new politics of the Left. From the book, Stack hopes that his account of the first Darwinian Left will provide “some measure of the word of warning about the folly of such course of action”[4]. Stack has no time for the singer’s arguments, in which case he notes as having some influence of the current fashionable evolutionary psychology of Steven pinker and others. In social questions, there is the Singer’s search for scientific certainty, and his denial of the validity of any argument that is deeply in biology might be worrying and misguiding according to Stack’s view[5]. The argument is also at the worst nostalgia of the regrettable efforts of the earlier left-wing intellectuals for instance the Wells and Shaw, G to contain racist and the eugenicist concepts in to their philosophy.

In his book, Stack explores the writings of a number of crucial figures in the earlier Darwinian Left, and he finds some similar worrying materials. Karl Pearson describes himself as socialist in the Chances of Death and even other various essays in evolution. He goes on to argue that eugenics were a collectivist doctrine and the notion of racial fitness demanded that the natural selection be group process[6]. Also, Olive in Woman and Labor (1911), had to write that the woman’s organic inferiority” had to bring destructive social arrangements, and argued for the female liberation in the name of eugenics and evolution[7].

Stack in his book also seems to be keen to absolving the Left of as much responsibility for the unfortunate sentiments as imbued with the general evolutionary ethos of the age. He deplores the copious literature, in which case it seeks to distort the picture of the first Fabians, for instance, those who he alleges, fell under the beguiling spell of eugenics[8]. Furthermore, there is the impression of Stack with the scientific credentials of certain key figures on the Left, in which case it includes the Ramsay McDonald. MacDonald, had to declare that socialism is naught but Darwinism, and had to train himself in biology and chemistry[9]. In his book, Stack notes that Russell, in which case he is the man who had to share the equal credit with Darwin for discovering the principles of natural selection, had to declare himself a socialist in 1889, and later advocated socialism through writing books such as The Revolt of Democracy among others[10].

In his book, Stack wants to have thing in both ways. First he becomes skeptical about Left-wing attempts to trace their social theories in biology. When theorist comes with the scientific grounds, stack skillfully becomes happy to cite them positively in just some context. Therefore, the book might lack some coherence though Stack manages to avoid it by concentrating on the distinctive features of human biology as the argument of some writers adduces[11]. For instance, Stack notes in the argument of Henry George” evolution, that he has an interest in the human mental evolution, in which case it is largely dependent upon the cultural instead of the genetic transmissions of techniques, for instance, the perspectives stacks suggests George probably gained from Wallace book, contribution to the theory of natural selection. Embarking on Wallace, stack argues that though the mental selection could be no less cruel than its genetic complements and in human selections the process favors the evolution of the social characteristics. Therefore, Stack have the feeling that asserts the notion of the Darwinian Left was not inherently flawed, however, the mistaken arguments of some of its apologists[12].

Therefore, Stack might have had to succeed as far as he had to show that many of the socialist who ware interested in the alternative to Marxist revolution employed Darwinian language in arguing for the evolutionary socialism that would emerge slowly via democratic reforms. These socialists had to see the process of evolution as progressive movements towards the superior support. This was that the aggressive individualism of capitalism was the only temporary level on the path to the cooperative society of socialism. Stack’s arguments had the following conclusions, that Darwinism gives the scientific elucidations of the human propensity to the social collaboration as part of the evolved human nature, and, therefore, it denies atomistic individualism. In addition, the classical liberalism encourages the atomistic individualism and, therefore, it denies the human propensity to social elucidations[13]. The other conclusion of Stack includes that the socialism promotes the social cooperation as quite superior to the atomistic individualism. Therefore, Stack was able to show that Darwinism supports socialism.

To this extent, social Darwinism involves the ideologies of the society seeking to apply the biological concepts of the Darwinism theory, in which case it can apply to sociology or politics. This is often with the assumptions that the conflict between groupings in the community lead social advancements as superior groups outcompete the inferior groups. The social Darwinism was a significant step in the history that led to totalitarianism[14]. It is quite significant to reiterate that various historical factors led to the holocaust and wars predated the development of social Darwinism[15].

In conclusion, Stack was able to make useful contributions to the history of the Left despite a lot of criticism he had to encounter. His book sparked interest, raised questions and provoked irritation quite occasionally. However, his book is quite in need of criticism in terms of historical, philosophical and biological grounds. In fact, the reader looking for it would do even successfully if he would begin with Curling’s review (2001). Therefore, the challenge of the relationship between the socialist politics and the Darwinian biology is quite pressing, difficult and unresolved.

Bibliography

Bannister, Robert C. 1979. Social Darwinism: science and myth in Anglo-American social thought with a new preface. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Darwin, Charles. 2009. The descent of man and selection in relation to sex 1. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Ritchie, David George. 2007. Darwinism and politics. S.l: Ritchie Press.

Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press.

Stack, David. 2003. The first Darwinian left: socialism and Darwinism 1859-1914. Cheltenham: New Clarion Press.

[1] Ritchie, David George. 2007. Darwinism and politics. S.l: Ritchie Press.

[2] Stack, David. 2003. The first Darwinian left: socialism and Darwinism 1859-1914. Cheltenham: New Clarion Press.

[3] Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press.

[4] Stack, David. 2003. The first Darwinian left: socialism and Darwinism 1859-1914. Cheltenham: New Clarion Press.

[5] Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press

[6] Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press.

[7] Stack, David. 2003. The first Darwinian left: socialism and Darwinism 1859-1914. Cheltenham: New Clarion Press.

[8] Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press.

[9] Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press.

[10] Darwin, Charles. 2009. The descent of man and selection in relation to sex 1. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

[11] Stack, David. 2003. The first Darwinian left: socialism and Darwinism 1859-1914. Cheltenham: New Clarion Press.

[12] Bannister, Robert C. 1979. Social Darwinism: science and myth in Anglo-American social thought with a new preface. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

[13] Singer, Peter. 2000. A Darwinian left: politics, evolution and cooperation. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale Univ. Press.

[14] Darwin, Charles. 2009. The descent of man and selection in relation to sex 1. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

[15] Ritchie, David George. 2007. Darwinism and politics. S.l: Ritchie Press.

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