December 02, 2004

Social Conservatism = Social Darwinism?

Does social Conservatism and social Darwinism represent a distinction without a difference? Social Darwinism is defined as a social theory that draws an association between Darwin’s theory of Evolution by natural selection and the sociological relationships of humanity (en.wikipedia.org). Social conservatism essentially believes in the NATURAL SELECTION and promotion of humans who have advantage over those who are at disadvantage. They do not believe that those with disadvantage should be helped to compete, but rather, should simply accept losing out in the competition of economics and life.

Social conservative ideology essentially is predicated upon the belief that those at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy are innately superior and hence rose to the top from these traits, without the benefit of external assistance. Conversely, they believe that those who are poor are in that state due to being innately inferior in the competition. They are assumed to lack drive (lazy), intelligence (make poor choices) and personal responsibility and hence any assistance to them would be in violation of the natural selection process where survival goes to the fittest. It would amount to the subsidizing of inferiority, which will, in their opinion, promote and reward mediocrity and inferiority, hence threatening socioeconomic evolutionary progress, as well as, penalizing the superior (via taxes) to support the inferior.

Social conservatism, like Darwinism, is predicated in the belief of genetic traits that makes some “fitter” for survival and competition. In the West, that primary trait is “RACE”. There are surveys that show that the majority of white Americans associate poverty with laziness, as well as, other internal traits of causation. Given this belief, then it logically follows that because black poverty in America is 3 times that of whites, that whites must also conclude that blacks, as a general rule, are innately less “fit” for this economic competition than are whites. How else would they explain the racial discrepancies, given that they nearly all dismiss the history of racial oppression as having produced this inequality? Thus, even though you will not hear such an admission, nor should expect to, being white is seen as a superior trait over black and whites have made this belief a self-fulfilling prophecy via their discriminatory practices.

The hypocritical aspect of Social Conservatism/Social Darwinism is that Social conservatives lay claim to being "superior" Christians, while Darwinism as a belief/theory which is antithetical to the teaching of the Bible, creationism and how Jesus walked and lived. I am not suggesting that social conservatives profess and preach Darwinism, but rather, they practice it socially and economically. Jesus, from my understanding, did not turn his back upon the poor and attempt to deny them aid and assistance. He dwelled among them…not among the rich and successful. Social conservatives today narrowly focus on how government assistance breeds dependencies and cost them their hard eared tax dollars in the process, over the last 40 years. You never hear them talk about how hunger among children has been reduced…all that you hear about are the “welfare queens”, having babies to get more assistance while they drive fancy cars.

There is no panacea. Assistance can and does create some dependencies as a side effect, while not assisting has the effect of increasing human suffering, especially among children. I tend to believe that the former is the more “Moral” or Christ like choice.....but hey....thats just me.

22 Comments:

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Just because you say that social conservatism is

"Social conservative ideology essentially is predicated upon the belief that those at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy are innately superior and hence rose to the top from these traits, without the benefit of external assistance."

Doesn't make it so. You need to show example of people who have these beliefs stating that. This is the axiom of your argument. It is false. Thus making the rest of your argment untrue even if the logic is perfect.

Please get your facts straight and stop telling other people what they believe. It is your most bothersome trait.

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Yeah right. Do you expect a person guilty of a crime to profess their guilt? One should not expect people to self incriminate themselves, because it would be a conflict of their personal interest. This society has, to its credit, made white racism and stigmatized taboo. Few lament the words that will indict them. Thus, one has to rely on EVIDENCE, in the absence of CONFESSION and there is plenty of evidence to points to the conclusion that this is what the majority of social conservatives (the majority happens to be white) practice, if not believe.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

"Just because you say that... Doesn't make it so."

"You need to show example(s)..." -- SCOTT
--------------------------------------------------------

Sounds like SCOTT needs to take his own advice.
Is that not what I ask of you all the time, SCOTT??

It most certainly is...
And you have yet to show examples, proof or illustrate how anything you claim about anything I've ever said here (mostly about you and your statements) are not what I've said. Hmmm....

"Just because..."

Well, I'm still waiting on you to realize that any such statement-claim like that DOESN'T MAKE what you want to infer true, just because you say so.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Noah you are wrong. If your definition of social conservatives were correct they would not support charites, since it would in your words " It would amount to the subsidizing of inferiority".

But conservatives give more than liberals by a wide margin. And US as a whole gives more than europe where people are not social conservatives.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

"But conservatives give more than liberals by a wide margin." -- SCOTT

...And you proof of that??

And, if that is so, IF that is so... does your information that supposedly substanites that account for what may be the wide margin between professed conservatives vs. liberals ability to give - i.e. income/wealth disparity between the ideologies??

HUH??

If not (and if you haven't considered that or referenced info. that draws from a sound information base) then you have to accept the fact that the only thing you are doing is trying to defend and rationalize your conservatism based on things you cannot and have no desire to prove legitimate.

THANK YOU AGAIN... for your NON-CONTRIBUTION!
_______________________________________________________

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Charitable contributions are claimable on income taxes. Also, charitable contribution directly go to the group or cause that you want it to go to. Thus, white conservatives may give....but they are not giving to the United Negro college fund or other black causes, as much as they are giving to causes that they believe go to the beneift of whites.

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger EG said...

And US as a whole gives more than Europe where people are not social conservatives.If you are referring to the US as the Government, the amount is greater than Europe but the percent of the budget is lower. Jesus reminds us of the widow and her two mites in the temple (Mark 12:41-44).

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Now don't you go bringing up the Bible EG...you know full well that conservatives are the people who would do as Jesus would do. They walk and dwell among the poor...as did he. He feed the multitudes as do they...with no resentment in their hearts. Now...If you buy that I got some good swamp land for you to buy in Florida.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Scott said...

http://www.independentsector.org/media/GV01releasePR.html

"As previous Giving and Volunteering surveys have proved, household contributions increase as income increases, but lower income groups give a higher percentage of their income to charities.

The tendency of people to volunteer also increases with household income growth. For example, one in four people from households with incomes of less than $25,000 volunteered in the past year, while more than one in two from households with incomes of $75,000 or more volunteered."


Religious Faith and Charitable Giving (and we know more religious more conservative people are)
http://www.policyreview.org/oct03/brooks_print.html

The Generosity Index : by liberal and conservative states. The top 25 most generous state voted Bush.
http://www.joelcomm.com/the_generosity_index.html


http://www.catalogueforphilanthropy.org/cfp/db/generosity.php?year=2004

So here is data that contradicts your assumption that "It would amount to the subsidizing of inferiority"

Now you can parse my data back and forth. But Zero data has been giving to support the ASSumption that Social conservatives are against helping those who are less fortunate.

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

You are wrong Scott….more than a few of your statistics and links are predicated upon your CONJECTURE that Conservatives are more religious than non conservatives. They may profess to be so, but they cannot prove that they are.

The only evidence I need to prove that conservatives are against helping the poor is their political intransigence to fund programming for the poor. They want low taxes and small government, each of which works against assistance to the poor. Conservatives run on a platform of cutting taxes and social spending and on people being personally responsible for themselves and their lot in life. What more evidence do you need than that? There is a big difference in lamenting that one wants to help the poor and between actually making a sacrifice of time and resources to do so. I cannot say for certain what the intent of conservatives is towards the poor…but I can most certainly see the action and effect they have upon the poor.

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noah - just because a person believes in low taxes and smaller government does not necessarily mean that they do not want to help poor people.

I have friends who are dedicated Christians and Jews who believe in small government. Yet they spend much of their own monies and their own time to help those less fortunate than themselves - particularly through their religion.

I myself am not religious. Nevertheless, I do see value in people believing that they should be responsible for themselves. If circumstances are such that they need help, then it is good of others to help. Still - sometimes knowing that this help is "special" and not "expected" actually aids the receiver.

I've seen it happen in my own life - repeatedly.

Peg K

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Here we go again (yawn)….Peg K judging the forest from the trees in front of her…extrapolating her life experience as the general rule of all, as her life represents the perfect microcosm of America and everything good and bad about it. Spare me the pompousness….please.

So…is there an inverse relationship between charitable giving and reduction in taxes? More precisely, do conservatives take their tax savings and give it to the poor? If not, even if they do give to the poor, the tax cuts result in a net reduction in aid to the poor.

Wanting to help the poor is not an ACTION. People want to do a lot of things…but what you really want is determined by what you are willing to give up in exchange….because to get something some thing most be exchanged for it. Thus, your implying that conservatives may want to help the poor, does not mean that they are willing to make any sacrifices to do so. Furthermore, saying that conservatives GIVE and help the poor does not quantify to what degree. One can see a homeless person on a street corner begging as cars stop at an intersection…then given then a buck….hence, that qualifies as helping the poor, but the degree of help is misleading.

As long as conservatives ACTION results in a net reduction in aid to the poor…then it is my opinion that they care less about the poor than non socially conservative peoples.

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Noah you stated "Social conservative ideology essentially is predicated upon the belief that those at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy are innately superior and hence rose to the top from these traits,"

So in this post you were talking about beliefs not consequences of their actions. Peg and I have proved that social conservatives don't believe what you say they believe. You are wrong. To bad you are not man enough to admit it.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

My public shchool education must be failing me..because my using my understanding of the term "proof" you two have proved NOTHING, but simply gave us insight on how you as individual conservatives, view the poor. Given the human propensity for prevarication...that does not even hold as evidence of PROOF. People can and are often in denial with themselves...not to mention other peoples. SO what have you proven or disproved in your antithesis? Nothing...because you have not proved thay your life and view is a microcosm of the whole of conservatism.

 
At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the proof of thousands, Noah.

Every week I attend a 12 step meeting, because a family member I love tremendously suffers from addiction. Every week, I am taught to be supportive of the person that I love - but to NOT give money to the family member.

Is it because those who believe in twelve step programs are cruel? Conservative? Selfish?

Not in the slightest.

We are told that this is the right thing to do because it is what works - and giving and giving and giving does not work.

Giving money to those with addictions or significant problems, without holding them responsible and without expecting much in return doesn't help the people - it merely perpetuates their difficulties.

If you include all the addictions, there are literally millions of people who have been helped by 12 step programs - because they learn to help themselves.

The benefit of private programs of giving to the poor is that each group can do what it believes is most beneficial, and use targeting giving ... something that the government cannot do.

I happen to be aware of all this because of personal experiences. Yet, my private experiences aren't really relevant. Those of millions for many years, however, most certainly are.

Peg K

 
At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the proof of thousands, Noah.

Every week I attend a 12 step meeting, because a family member I love tremendously suffers from addiction. Every week, I am taught to be supportive of the person that I love - but to NOT give money to the family member.

Is it because those who believe in twelve step programs are cruel? Conservative? Selfish?

Not in the slightest.

We are told that this is the right thing to do because it is what works - and giving and giving and giving does not work.

Giving money to those with addictions or significant problems, without holding them responsible and without expecting much in return doesn't help the people - it merely perpetuates their difficulties.

If you include all the addictions, there are literally millions of people who have been helped by 12 step programs - because they learn to help themselves.

The benefit of private programs of giving to the poor is that each group can do what it believes is most beneficial, and use targeting giving ... something that the government cannot do.

I happen to be aware of all this because of personal experiences. Yet, my private experiences aren't really relevant. Those of millions for many years, however, most certainly are.

Peg K

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

It is interesting to see Peg and Scott debating what has been written all the while, Michael Cobb who is part of the conservative Negrohood is making Noah's point in one of his recent posts. Michael writes

"I turned Republican when I realized that catastrophe is inevitable, and the only salvation is becoming larger than life, and pre-emptively thrashing your enemies. Capitalism is a great medium for this agenda. If you don't become larger than life, then you are stuck at the mezzanine of despair, of knowing that life is a giant highway and the trucks never stop running people down. The liberal never seeks to become the truck. Instead, they endlessly warn the weak and bury the dead."

Michael also notes in his op-ed that Liberals would rather "set up traffic lights and warning signs so that nobody gets hit" but he as a conservative would rather become the truck that run people down. This thinking is the kind of thinking Noah is refering to, and he is dead on.

Read MCobbs whole piece @ http://www.mdcbowen.org/cobb/archives/003058.html#comments

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Faheem...see how they skirt around the germane point...which is that their ideology and vote results in a net reduction in aid and programs to the poor. No matter their cognitive dissonance...only a fool would not recognize the conservatives want to erode the social safety net and policies and programs that are aimed at leveling the playing field.

Fortunatly...no sane person should expect a confession from the guilty. Absense a confession...one is convicted by EVIDENCE...which in this case is clear. THe policies of the conservatives result in a net reduction of assitance to the poor and disadvantaged and allow those dollars to remain in the hands of the well to do. GUILTY AS CHARGED.

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Noah the fact that you can ignore, facts presented in the generosity index showing that people in red conserative states give more shows that you are full of crap. And just want o hear yourself talk and are unwilling to learn.

You made a mistake. Admit it. Move on.

 
At 6:12 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

What mistake? I must have missed something? Lets assume for a moment that conservatives do make more charitable contributions. Is that giving quantifiably enough to address all the needs of the poor? Just because people give...does not mean that they give enough to make a difference for the poor as a whole, notwithstanding the benefit to a few who are poor. Simply saying that conservatives gives...does not therefore mean that they are meeting the needs of the poor. Hence, the conservatives opposition to social programs and spending has a result of reducing aid to the poor...which means that even if they did care...they do not care enough to make helping the poor a government priority. Furthermore, If the conservatives give, is that not antithetical to their propanda that giving does not work and only created dependancies and people who take advantage of givers. Where are all the "Charitable Queens"....people abusing charitable donations...and why is not the conservative complaining about that phenomenon like they complain about "Welfare Queens". Maybe because most conservatives give or say they give as a tax shelter. Some of them give to relieve their guilt and to try to buy their way into heaven...but their hearts are still callous.

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Noah you are one of those stupid liberals, who believe that anyone who doesn't see things their way must be evil and hard hearted.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

People have different ideas what is the best way to give charity. Has the billions given to African countries over the last 40 years helped them or hurt them? Has the war on poverty helped or hurt black people ? These are real questions that people who actually care about people living in desperate poverty
have honest disagreements on.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Billions of dollars to millions of people do not add up to much…per capita. The caveat to your parable is that if you teach a man to fish from the same pond that you do…he will become an economic threat. In such a case, it is best to keep that knowledge to yourself and continue to give a man a fish…while you keep the expertise and control of the pond. Chinas rise is a perfect example of what happens when people learn to fish…who did not before. The pond cannot support the wealth of two many fisherman, because the resource is not unlimited.

 

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