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Are conservative values close to Darwinism?

(48 Posts)
malificent7 Mon 12-Jun-17 14:56:23

Survival of the fittest. In an ideal world we would all be succesful in supporting ourselves and our families. Conservative values seek to encourage this independance which is good but it also supports a more ruthless aporoach to life which i cant get in board with. It simplistically seeks to claim that what you earn is in proportion to how hard you work.

I have to reject this as an ex teacher i worked incredibly hard but was paid a pittance.

I truly think that a measure of a great society is how we treat our most vulnerable. Aibu to think that we are not all destined to be super succesful and rich evem if we work hard.

I also believe that no man is an island and that we all need a supportive state to stem excessive greed and ruthlessness.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 12-Jun-17 14:59:12

Laissez faire economics does treat people like evolution. I'm not sure most Conservatives believe in true laissez faire except for the right arseholes Trump.

What they don't say out loud a lot is that for it to work, people will die. See: the Victoria era.

Figaro2017 Mon 12-Jun-17 15:02:23

As opposed to Labour that is closer to creationism. The money just appears and nobody knows where the fuck it came from!

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 12-Jun-17 15:06:07

I think the Labour movement believed in labour; that the way to increase the value of things was the work put into that. Therefore the rights and views of the workers was important. And that rich people owning the means of production, plus the essential things of life (housing etc.) wasn't the way for everyone to live happily. If you are looking for an example in nature, I suppose reciprocal altruism would be closest.

What the parties both appear to believe in now is getting elected. I think the OP was about the philosophy, not party politics.

Phosphorus Mon 12-Jun-17 15:09:40

I'm not sure that you are interpreting 'survival of the fittest' correctly.

Offherhead Mon 12-Jun-17 15:11:00

No. Individual survival doesn't support evolution very well. You need a breeding population.

dotandstripe Mon 12-Jun-17 15:17:25

As a Tory voter, I do believe in supporting the most vulnerable who can't work but I have a problem with a generous benefits system in general because it presumes everyone wants to work hard and no one would choose the easiest way out. And yet so many say they wouldn't take a job unless it pays more than being on benefits.

I know many who had it good on benefits - the right combination of disability benefits and housing benefit in London before the rules tightened meant that people had been on incapacity benefit for mental health for a decade and were living comfortably in the sort of areas in central London that many working people (who got no benefits) couldn't have afforded to rent on an average salary. Someone I know got about £35,000 pa tax free... while working cash in hand at the same time because he was actually quite well!

Kursk Mon 12-Jun-17 15:18:49

I used to believe that a supportive stare was needed, however when we fell on hard times it wasn't there to help us and we came close to loosing everything.

That time of our life taught DH and I that we are alone, and the survival of our family is down to our hard work,

makeourfuture Mon 12-Jun-17 15:19:48

The thing is, Sapien is a terrible fighter. Our great strength is in forming societies, and sharing.

needmorespace Mon 12-Jun-17 15:20:13

Figaro2017 As opposed to the magic money tree that the tories will pluck from to 'pay' the DUP?

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 12-Jun-17 15:21:00

There is only one answer you want to hear, isn't there OP?
People, don't take the bait.

WinifredAtwellsOtherPiano Mon 12-Jun-17 15:23:05

Darwinism is descriptive not prescriptive. In particular it relies on the relatively poorly adapted dying before they breed - otherwise there's no selective pressure. It's a principle built on failure.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 12-Jun-17 15:24:12

Survival of the fittest does not mean the strongest survive. Darwin didn't even coin the phrase. When he did use it he used it to mean ""better designed for an immediate, local environment". i.e. survival of the organism that best fits / suits the environment it finds itself in.

So are you arguing conservative values are that people should given the skills to cope well in the world? Or that people prosper when they can find their niche in life?

helpimitchy Mon 12-Jun-17 15:24:35

I think that, in the past, communities needed to support their members in order for them to survive as a group. They had to cooperate to a large extent and people who acted against the overall effective functioning, such as robbers, were swiftly dealt with killed or jailed. Survival of the fittest in these terms would mean survival of the entire community as opposed to each individual person.

These days, due to the welfare state, individuals no longer really need to cooperate with their neighbour in order to survive, so society has become more self centred and selfish. Not everyone is prepared to take responsibility for themselves or their actions.

Overall, state help and support is a good thing, but a balance needs to be struck so that it's not left overwhelmed. When people who need help are left without it, and have no wider community to help them, then it's going to lead to suffering and possibly death of individuals.

I think the conservative view is that there are some people in society who are surplus to requirements and who can be left to struggle until they either find help somewhere or expire. It's brutal and doesn't take into consideration that people can't survive alone as humans are a group species.

grins Mon 12-Jun-17 15:25:14

Given that you were apparently a teacher you are unreasonable to post a question with such a lack of rigour behind it.

It is unclear from your post whether you mean "conservative" or "Conservative" values. The only example of c/Conservative values that you cite is a supposed position in relation to earnings vs hard work - I'd like to see your source for that assumption.

You seem to misunderstand Darwin too.

TheMysteriousJackelope Mon 12-Jun-17 15:29:19

In the US conservative values are the equivalent of Darwinism.

The Republican party are cutting back on Medicaid programs that pay for healthcare for poor children, poor adults, and the disabled. A politician claimed this was a good thing as it would force people back to work. Five year olds can't go out to work. Someone with a chronic illness or disability is going to find it extremely hard to get or keep a job, especially one with health benefits. They will literally die because of not being able to afford medical treatment. A doctor visit can cost around $150, DH's prescriptions for three months last year cost $700. Nobody on $1000 a month disability benefit or $7.25 an hour can afford those kind of costs.

Many US conservatives believe that people are poor or lack health coverage or need other forms of government assistance because they have made poor life decisions and withdrawing those programs will force people into making better decisions. This is the natural consequence of their thinking that any success they have is purely because they worked hard and made good decisions. Being in the right place at the right time, having a reasonable upbringing and educations, and sheer good luck when it comes to health do not factor into their smugness at all.

Thousands of people in the US are going to die in the coming years in a Darwinian Survival of the Fittest purely because they had the misfortune to be born with a congenital disease or genetic defect.

makeourfuture Mon 12-Jun-17 15:29:21

Little c does big C's bidding.

metspengler Mon 12-Jun-17 15:30:20

What you might call "Conservative values" vary wildly. From free market/economic liberals, to libertarians, to liberal democrats (I don't mean the modern party), to one nation tories, to c of e fuddy duddies, to simple centrist socially conservative people who aren't voting on political ideology, to single issue and forces loyal voters, to aspirational working class "grammar school conservatives" who see the benefits society as keeping the poor down so they are fodder for the politics of envy (at the expense of their own happiness and betterment) - there are even those who are in effect fabians/socialists.

In truth it is almost the whole spectrum of politics that can come under the umbrella of "conservative". If you're interested I suggest you dig into the available books on the subject written by actual conservatives (of all the various types there are) and the history of British Tories and Liberals (again I mean the people who ended up in the conservative party, not the modern "liberal democrat" party) and reject the nursery-rhyme-like simplified moral universe of the left's narrative, where the "Tories" are top hat wearing monocled posh bogeymen with a lust to hunt foxes, set fire to disabled people and oppress the poor with evil darwinism.

NImbleJumper Mon 12-Jun-17 15:32:15

Survival of the fittest is not a Darwininan idea. It comes from Darwin's followers & proselytisers, such as Thomas Huxley - it's called social Darwinism, and Charles Darwin himself didn't have much truck with it. A lot of his work is about co-operation.

BabsGanoush Mon 12-Jun-17 15:34:55

OP - So as an ex-teacher you think that one should be able to quit one's job and expect other folk to look after you??

metspengler Mon 12-Jun-17 15:38:08

"In the US conservative values are the equivalent of Darwinism."

In the US fantasy knee-jerk politics and vulnerability to demagogues, when they are successful with the mainstream, tend to go right and in the UK they tend to go left. The sort of person who will endlessly repeat lies they could easily check for themselves, become extremely hostile/violent on the basis of them, and actually suggest their opponents are halfway to satan would be in the tea party there and a corbynite here. ONce you realise this and see how people conduct themselves it becomes obvious the British Conservative Party has far more in common than the Democrats than the Republicans.

This is one of our few genuine cultural differences.

helpimitchy Mon 12-Jun-17 15:39:46

Today 15:34 BabsGanoush

OP - So as an ex-teacher you think that one should be able to quit one's job and expect other folk to look after you??

Well, what do you think should happen if you become very sick or disabled and are unable to work?

VestalVirgin Mon 12-Jun-17 15:51:13

Darwinism is descriptive not prescriptive.

Yes, many people don't seem to get that. "You should behave like this because evolution says so!" makes absolutely zero sense.

Evolution is also incapable of making everyone rich, as rich is defined as having more than other people.

Advantaging rich people in an attempt to make society evolve towards being rich is therefore utter nonsense.

In particular it relies on the relatively poorly adapted dying before they breed - otherwise there's no selective pressure. It's a principle built on failure.

I don't think conservatives actually want the poor to die before they can breed. They're mostly capitalist. A large number of poor people is needed so that wages can be lowered.

Poor people dying in their thousands would mean the survivors can demand higher wages. Labour would be a scarce resource.

I suppose that explains why the pro-capitalism parties are often against birth control and women's bodily autonomy.

teapotter Mon 12-Jun-17 17:02:02

Yabvu. To give one example, I have a friend in the USA who is right wing (libertarian). She believes that communities should support the weakest rather than the state, as it is a personal accountable system. She volunteers with refugees, is vegetarian and is on course to adopt 2 or 3 teenagers. She believes that without the state safety net people would be kinder to each other.

I disagree with her. But it's helped me understand one type of conservative view. There are many more, just talk to some Tory voters, they're (mostly) human!

makeourfuture Mon 12-Jun-17 17:34:19

I have a friend in the USA who is right wing (libertarian).

Anarcho-socialists do not believe in heavy state interference. The idea is that humans do not really need a state at all to govern our actions - that we are capable of doing it on our own.

It could be said that all socialism is like this. The state eventually will become totally unnecessary once we get rid of the awful social constructs which have shaped society to this point.

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