The paradox of the free market, the conservatives and the survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest. As many may not know, this wellknown quote does not originate from the man with the monkeys and finches, but from the slightly less renowned Herbert Spencer, who dabbled in society theory in the 1800’s. What might also surprise, is that he referred to the society, and not animals, when he said it.

This seed to social darwinism led, to make the story short, to a popular political ideology who caracterises conservative thinking to this day. That is, a way to justify in social terms why some are rich and become richer while others are doomed to a life in poverty. Conservative polititians in for example the u.s. have for a long time protected the free market on the basis of this thinking.

What I find to be the irony of it all is how it is possible to uphold such strong Christian values, or “values”, depending who you’re asking, in said country and at the same time debate politics on such social darwinistic-influenced ground. “Survival of the fittest” has, as everyone knows, become the strongest trademark for the evolution theory, a theory that several Christians to this day, refuses to recognise. Still, conservatives, who reckon themselves as the most Christian of them all, have no problem with identifying with the same ideology as long as it’s applied to humans!

What’s even more fascinating, is that the Christian belief, who underlines the importance of solidarity and assistanse to the poor and less able, apparantly can be so easily combined with such a ruthless and unsolidaric way of politics. It’s the biggest kind of irony, I think, and also one of the reasons for why I can never fully understand the u.s.a. How can somebody who claims to fight for Christian values like charity, good-heartedness and solidarity at the same time justify a system where those who happen to be born rich only gets richer at the expence of those who are not as lucky?

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