Trump and the right share a social Darwinist "herd mentality" — it leads to widespread death - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15128943
Instead of building on a sound sense of patriotism and solidarity with the weakest in society, modern conservatives have embraced a shallow nationalism with a streak of social Darwinism that accepts the killing of the vulnerable for supposedly economic reasons.

The pandemic illustrates just how erroneous that view is. Not only is herd immunity not achieved by letting the pandemic run out of control, but those who fail to contain the pandemic will also have the greatest economic losses.

Donald Trump's promise in an ABC News town hall last month that the United States would soon achieve herd immunity for the coronavirus, and conflating that with herd mentality, may be explained because Trump is counting on the latter to rescue his second term. It's otherwise impossible to imagine a campaign whose endgame is to recover the lost loyalty of voters over 65 selecting as its closing argument, "Not enough of you have died yet."

It's a safe bet that none of his 2016 Republican primary challengers would have embraced the idea that the solution to the pandemic was more American casualties than the Civil War and World War II combined. But many of Trump's Republican comrades-in-arms have embraced, often eagerly, a default preference for herd immunity — harkening back to the harsh social Darwinism that underlies much of modern conservatism. Early on in the pandemic there were Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana and radio host Glenn Beck, all of whom argued that the loss of more American lives was preferable to scaling back the economy. Then, when the issue became wearing masks, some opponents argued "if I'm going to get COVID and die from it, so be it …" Of course they really meant, "If you are going to get COVID ..." Wearing masks was a deprivation of freedom — although this argument seems never to have been extended by Republicans to the prohibition on public nudity.

As the pandemic surged again, by October Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was referring to "unjustified hysteria" about covid, and asked, after he became infected, ""Why do we think we actually can stop the progression of a contagious disease?" (The obvious answer is that we have been doing so, with increasing success, since the 1854 cholera pump moment. That is rejected by many on the right, because stopping a pandemic may require the government to prevent citizens from endangering others.)

Herd immunity can sometimes reduce mortality from a disease, but over the centuries has failed to end the curse of influenza, tuberculosis, smallpox, polio, rabies or dengue fever. It fits neatly, however, into a social Darwinist framework. Those who die are the "weak" — the poorest, the youngest and the oldest young — or can at any rate be classified as weak and deserving to die, because they died. Survival of the fittest requires discarding the weak. Remember the "let them die" hecklers who populated some of the 2011 Republican debates on health care.

This underlying value distortion — my personal freedom extends to my right to endanger you — spreads out across a range of other issues. Today's Republican reluctance to curb pollution even when it is demonstrably is killing a power plant's neighbors, to keep pesticides that kill farm workers out of the fields or to do anything at all about the climate crisis, which conservatives have privately conceded for years was real and caused by carbon pollution, are all illustrations of how the toxin of social Darwinism still contaminates much of the right's thinking about freedom.

So Trump's response to the COVID crisis — and the willingness of the Republican congressional establishment to enable it — illustrates a deep-rooted flaw in the American right. In a world in which we are, like it or not, all bound together, a tolerable conservatism is one that is willing to protect me from irresponsible neighbors, whether those are COVID-risking teenagers, irresponsible gun owners or multinational chemical companies.

CARL POPE
#15128946
Atlantis wrote:Instead of building on a sound sense of patriotism and solidarity with the weakest in society, modern conservatives have embraced a shallow nationalism with a streak of social Darwinism that accepts the killing of the vulnerable for supposedly economic reasons.

The pandemic illustrates just how erroneous that view is. Not only is herd immunity not achieved by letting the pandemic run out of control, but those who fail to contain the pandemic will also have the greatest economic losses.


Sweden seems to have done it pretty darn well.
#15128949
Atlantis wrote:Instead of building on a sound sense of patriotism and solidarity with the weakest in society, modern conservatives have embraced a shallow nationalism with a streak of social Darwinism that accepts the killing of the vulnerable for supposedly economic reasons.

The pandemic illustrates just how erroneous that view is. Not only is herd immunity not achieved by letting the pandemic run out of control, but those who fail to contain the pandemic will also have the greatest economic losses.


Social Darwinism and modern ''Racism'' (more properly called ''Eugenicism'', because these people you speak of aren't racist as such) of course share the same roots, in Darwinism itself, which is a foundation in turn of modern Capitalism. This is exemplified by Herbert Spencer himself, who was a precursor of Anarcho-Capitalism and various other strains of Libertarian thinking.
#15129094
annatar1914 wrote:Social Darwinism and modern ''Racism'' (more properly called ''Eugenicism'', because these people you speak of aren't racist as such) of course share the same roots, in Darwinism itself, which is a foundation in turn of modern Capitalism. This is exemplified by Herbert Spencer himself, who was a precursor of Anarcho-Capitalism and various other strains of Libertarian thinking.


It is true that racism and fascism are closely linked to social Darwinism. There may also be a link between social Darwinism and some strains of Capitalist thinking, but social Darwinism isn't rooted in Darwinism. It's rather an ideological distortion of the biological principles implied by Darwin.

Social Darwinism presents a worldview that is far too deterministic. The emphasis on the idea of the survival of the fittest also ignores that Nature promotes communities or "guilds" of different types of plants that live in a mutually beneficial symbiosis.

@Oxymoron, no, Sweden is not a success when it comes to herd immunity. Besides, the Swedes even deny that they aimed for herd immunity.
#15129155
Oxymoron wrote:
Its not a success? By what measure? Also if that was not their aim, their actions still created it.



They don't have herd immunity, that's absurd.

I get the feeling all you want is an excuse. But if you want the facts, it only takes a few seconds of googling to get them.

In any case, it's not relevant to us.
#15129159
Atlantis wrote:It is true that racism and fascism are closely linked to social Darwinism. There may also be a link between social Darwinism and some strains of Capitalist thinking, but social Darwinism isn't rooted in Darwinism. It's rather an ideological distortion of the biological principles implied by Darwin.

Social Darwinism presents a worldview that is far too deterministic. The emphasis on the idea of the survival of the fittest also ignores that Nature promotes communities or "guilds" of different types of plants that live in a mutually beneficial symbiosis.


Social Darwinism is a vulgarisation of Darwinian theory, based on a misunderstanding of the phrase "survival of the fittest". What Darwin meant by the word "fittest" was not "the strongest" or "the organism with the biggest muscles", but those organisms which fit in best with their environment. This "fitting in" can mean co-operative behaviour as well as competitive behaviour. Indeed, Darwin chose the humble earthworm as an example of an organism which is supremely fitted to its environment. And there are, of course, lots and lots of earthworms in the world, thus exemplifying the phrase "survival of the fittest". Using Darwinian ideas to justify neo-liberal excesses or the "need" to send the weakest members of society to the wall is clearly unjustifiable by any scientific criteria, and is likely motivated by a desire to justify inherited privilege on the part of people who have never read a word Darwin wrote in their lives. Lol.
#15129210
Atlantis wrote:It is true that racism and fascism are closely linked to social Darwinism. There may also be a link between social Darwinism and some strains of Capitalist thinking, but social Darwinism isn't rooted in Darwinism. It's rather an ideological distortion of the biological principles implied by Darwin.

Social Darwinism presents a worldview that is far too deterministic. The emphasis on the idea of the survival of the fittest also ignores that Nature promotes communities or "guilds" of different types of plants that live in a mutually beneficial symbiosis.


Social Darwinism absolutely springs forth from Darwin, for Darwin and Huxley and Galton all were ''Social Darwinists'' before ''Social Darwinism'', in search of a theory of evolution that buttressed their Bourgeoisie social philosophy. This in spite of the fact that Natural Selection is a conservative biological mechanism.
#15129211
Oxymoron wrote:Its not a success? By what measure? Also if that was not their aim, their actions still created it.


If you suppose that the Swedes aimed for herd immunity (which they deny), then they failed because they did not reach herd immunity even after having sacrificed 12 times more people then neighboring Norway.

Even if you suppose that there is such as thing as a "Swedish model", which there isn't, it won't work for other countries because, for example Latins, have very different social behavior from Scandinavians who don't normally kiss and hug. Moreover, most Swedes follow their government's instructions, while Latins make a point of opposing their government's instruction.

Thus, any attempt to use the so-called Swedish model by the lunatic fringe to justify opposition to corona measures is based on complete and deliberate ignorance. But I'm sure you didn't even read up to here.
#15129581
Oxymoron wrote:
Its not a success? By what measure? Also if that was not their aim, their actions still created it.


Oxymoron, to reach heard immunity a nation must have let 80% be infected with the disease. If a person is not infected she can't become immune. It is also necessary for almost all infected people to become immune for years, at least.
. . . The common cold is a few corona viruses. We have never attained hard immunity to the corona viruses that cause the common cold.

I really doubt that Sweden has seen 80%of its people getting covid-19, even if you include those with no signs from it. If it hasn't then it doesn't have heard immunity.
.
#15129583
Why are Liberals so retarded so stupid. if you had an R0 of 5.0 and a population with a 100% vulnerability and complete return to pre pandemic social practices even then you wouldn't need an infection rate of 80%, because of the fact that some individuals are have much greater numbers of social interactions than others and those are far more likely to get infected early on.
#15129586
Potemkin wrote:Social Darwinism is a vulgarisation of Darwinian theory, based on a misunderstanding of the phrase "survival of the fittest". What Darwin meant by the word "fittest" was not "the strongest" or "the organism with the biggest muscles", but those organisms which fit in best with their environment. This "fitting in" can mean co-operative behaviour as well as competitive behaviour. Indeed, Darwin chose the humble earthworm as an example of an organism which is supremely fitted to its environment. And there are, of course, lots and lots of earthworms in the world, thus exemplifying the phrase "survival of the fittest". Using Darwinian ideas to justify neo-liberal excesses or the "need" to send the weakest members of society to the wall is clearly unjustifiable by any scientific criteria, and is likely motivated by a desire to justify inherited privilege on the part of people who have never read a word Darwin wrote in their lives. Lol.


While this is true, I would argue cooperative behavior is more common within a species while competitive behavior is more common between species. In that sense, it isn't a stretch to argue for competition between human races, especially when people had no knowledge of genetics and overvalued differences in exterior appearance.

Of course such an argument would be a naturalistic fallacy, but one can see where it comes from.
#15129855
Potemkin wrote:Social Darwinism is a vulgarisation of Darwinian theory, based on a misunderstanding of the phrase "survival of the fittest". What Darwin meant by the word "fittest" was not "the strongest" or "the organism with the biggest muscles", but those organisms which fit in best with their environment. This "fitting in" can mean co-operative behaviour as well as competitive behaviour. Indeed, Darwin chose the humble earthworm as an example of an organism which is supremely fitted to its environment. And there are, of course, lots and lots of earthworms in the world, thus exemplifying the phrase "survival of the fittest". Using Darwinian ideas to justify neo-liberal excesses or the "need" to send the weakest members of society to the wall is clearly unjustifiable by any scientific criteria, and is likely motivated by a desire to justify inherited privilege on the part of people who have never read a word Darwin wrote in their lives. Lol.

This might be alright if people didn't lump laissez faire banker lovers like Herbert Spencer with Hitler and the National Socialists as social Darwinists. Herbert Spencers's philosophy was non interventionist in the national life and if the earth worms survived so be it. Hitler's policies on the other hand were very much designed to take charge of the environment, to try and nudge as David Cameron would put it, the criteria of survival. Hitler it seems to me was very much not content to accept the survival of a nation of earth worms.

The more I think about the more the Nazis seem the very anthesis of Herbert Spencer. Because their policy at least in principle (many party manifestos look wonderful in principle, which is why Hitler and Lenin were so keen to get rid of democracy before their policies went wrong and before anyone had to a chance to start exposing government failures) was that all good German genetic stock should get the nutrition, exercise, health care and education that they needed to fulfil their potential regrdless of their social class, regardless of their monetary inheritance.
#15129985
Rich wrote:Why are Liberals so retarded so stupid.. if you had an R0 of 5.0 and a population with a 100% vulnerability and complete return to pre pandemic social practices even then you wouldn't need an infection rate of 80%, because of the fact that some individuals are have much greater numbers of social interactions than others and those are far more likely to get infected early on.

Rich, why are people like you "so [offensive word removed] so stupid."

Form the internet ---
What is R#?
The reproduction number is a way of rating coronavirus or any disease's ability to spread.
It's the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average.
Measles has one of the highest numbers with an R number of 15 in populations without immunity.
That means, on average, one person will spread measles to 15 others.

Two things I need to say here.
1] I think you meant "if you had an R0 of 0.50". Of you had a R0 of 5 then the virus is spreading very fast. If it is less than one, it is spreading quite slow.

2] Assuming that you did mean "0.50", then you simply assumed that a low R0 that comes from herd immunity and then said that it is proof that you can have herd immunity without having an 80% infection rate first. But, why does the nation you are talking about have a R0 od 0.50? If you say "because it has been measured and this is what it is", then OK, please point to any nation that has a R0 of 0.50 and has covid-19 in its people and isn't doing massive testing, isolating, and contact tracing. Such nations don't have herd immunity, they have a low R0 for a different reason.
. . In America, there is no contact tracing. Covid-19 is free to spread in the nation ("herd"?) with little effort to stop it.

In my google search I happened to see a post that Sweden has a R0 of about 1, which is *far* from 0.50, because of the way math works. [But, I'm not sure when that post was talking about.]
.
#15130049
Rich wrote:This might be alright if people didn't lump laissez faire banker lovers like Herbert Spencer with Hitler and the National Socialists as social Darwinists. Herbert Spencers's philosophy was non interventionist in the national life and if the earth worms survived so be it. Hitler's policies on the other hand were very much designed to take charge of the environment, to try and nudge as David Cameron would put it, the criteria of survival. Hitler it seems to me was very much not content to accept the survival of a nation of earth worms.

Indeed. For all their prattling about the "natural order of things" ensuring the rise of "superior races", the Nazis were strict voluntarists rather than determinists. They clearly had little faith in the workings of the "natural order" leading to the outcomes they desired. Lol.

The more I think about the more the Nazis seem the very anthesis of Herbert Spencer. Because their policy at least in principle (many party manifestos look wonderful in principle, which is why Hitler and Lenin were so keen to get rid of democracy before their policies went wrong and before anyone had to a chance to start exposing government failures) was that all good German genetic stock should get the nutrition, exercise, health care and education that they needed to fulfil their potential regrdless of their social class, regardless of their monetary inheritance.

And this is precisely what Hitler and the Nazis meant by the "socialism" part of "national socialism". And in fact it exhausts the meaning of what they meant by "socialism". They believed - with very good reason - that capitalism could not be trusted to deliver that outcome, so government intervention was necessary to ensure that the "superior race" received the nutrition and living conditions it required to flourish. Again, the Nazis were strict voluntarists rather than determinists, despite all their pseudo-Darwinian rhetoric.
#15130054
First, nice to see your 'handle' again, Potemkin. Now to work.

Social Darwinism, junk science, carries a strong appeal. It provides the believer with a highly selective pair of mental 'glasses' which screen out human suffering. Thus we see comments such as, "We don't need minimum wage laws. Anyone who wants more money can work harder and advance himself." It also surfaces as braggadocio: "I got there the old-fashioned way by working hard and succeeding. I don't like the government to take my hard-earned money and spend it on welfare queens."

And so it goes.

Regards, stay safe 'n well.. Remember the Big 3: masks, hand washing and physical distancing.

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