Dialectical Materialism again - reply to Mark Lause

Xenon Zi-Neng Yuan wenhuadageming at comcast.net
Tue Jul 29 00:03:26 MDT 2003

At 03:43 PM 7/29/2003 +1000, Shane Hopkinson wrote:
>For example Darwinism may be a more or less accurate
>rendering of the available evidence but it bears the hallmarks
>of the survival of the fittest mentality of laissez faire captialism.
>It doesn't mean its wrong but its ideological in that sense.
>Many social commentators use findings like Darwins to try
>and justify social inequalities and when they do its
>ideological - just like its ideological for us Marxists to say
>that this is invalid. Knowledge production and use are all
>part of the struggle.

from what i know, darwin himself did not coin the phrase "survival of the
fittest", i believe herbert spencer did.  plus "darwinism" i think is
actually often used in place of what came to be known as social
darwinism.  charles darwin simply came upon the theory of natural selection
as the mechanism for biological evolution.  it was made a bit difficult to
explain however, since at the time he was not aware of mendel's work and
thus lack of clarity, on just how heredity works, muddled up many of his
conclusions.  darwin was also not invincible to the ideological trends of
the time in victorian england and probably came to accept some of the
tenets of social darwinism.  but his theory of natural selection itself i
cannot see as "ideological", other than to debunk other contemporary
explanations for evolution and to give definitive proof to evolution
itself.  i do view it as an honest attempt at science.  a good source to
look for a treatment of these issues is gould's mismeasure of man.


More information about the Marxism mailing list