In order to competently address the various problems which we face as a society (and to come up with the society-based New Year Resolutions we continue to seek: http://theviewfromoutsidemytinywindow.blogspot.com/2008/12/post-no-72-country-seeking-new-year.html), we must fully appreciate who we are as a nation.
We ran across this book review in the Friday, January 9, 2009 hard copy edition of the Wall Street Journal. The author is Bill Kauffman, and he reviews Barry Werth's "Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America."
We think that this discussion is particularly timely in light of all of the discussions ongoing about governmental bailouts of the private sector, and the extent to which various industries should be regulated.
The review alone should make all of us think. We're going out to acquire a copy of the book.
DARWIN IN THE NEW WORLD
"Herbert Spencer, the 19th Century British philosopher, is remembered today as the forbidding-almost forbidden-father of "Social Darwinism," a school of thought declaring that the fittest prosper in a free marketplace and the human race is gradually improved because only the strong survive.
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Applying Darwinian insights about evolution to political, economic and social life-though he did not himself use the term "Social Darwinism" - Spencer concluded that vigorous competition and unfettered capitalism conduced to the betterment of society.