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HERBERT SPENCER:

FUSFELD, CH 6
1
 HERBERT SPENCER [1820- 1903]

þ RISE OF SOCIALISM & ITS DEMAND FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
  FORCED THE EXISTING ORDER TO RAISE ITS DEFENSES.

þ ONE ANSWER TO MARX & SOCIALISM: 19TH C PHILOSOPHY
  ON INDIVIDUALISM.

     þ THIS DEVELOPED AS THE IDEOLOGY OF A BUSINESS
       CIVILIZATION BETWEEN 1850-WWI.
 

þ TWO LEADING PROPONENTS OF INDIVIDUALISM:

     þ ENGLISH PHILOSOPHER HERBERT SPENCER
       [1820-1903]
     þ AMERICAN SOCIOLOGIST, WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER
       [1840-1910].
 
 

þ DARWIN DISCUSSED EVOLUTION IN TERMS OF NATURAL
   SELECTION.

          þ THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES  1859
 

þ SPENCER COINED THE PHRASE: "SURVIVAL OF THE
  FITTEST."

þ "THOSE ORGANISMS WHICH ARE BEST FITTED TO THEIR
   ENVIRONMENT  ... WILL SURVIVE. THE LEAST FIT
   WILL DIE OUT, LEAVING THE STRONGEST AND BEST."
 

þ TO SPENCER, SUCH WAS THE ROUTE TO PROGRESS: THE
  WEAKEST INDIVIDUALS & LEAST-USEFUL SOCIAL
  INSTITUTIONS DIE OUT.
 

2
 HERBERT SPENCER [1820- 1903] [C]
 

þ SO AS NOT TO INTERFER WITH THIS NATURAL
  EVOLUTION, GOVERNMENT WAS SEEN AS A NECESSARY
  EVIL, WHOSE POWERS SHOULD BE SEVERELY LIMITED TO:

     þ PROTECTION OF PEOPLE;
     þ PROTECTION OF PROPERTY;
     þ ENFORCEMENT OF PRIVATE CONTRACTS.
 

þ IN SPENCER'S VISION FOR SOCIETY, THERE SHOULD BE:

     þ NO GOVN REGULATION OF INDUSTRY;
     þ NO STATE CHURCH;
     þ NO ORGANIZED COLONIZATION;

     þ NO RELIEF FOR THE POOR;
     þ NO SOCIAL LEGISLATION;

     þ NO PUBLIC MINT;
     þ NO GOVERNMENT-OWNED POSTAL SYSTEM;
     þ NO PUBLIC EDUCATION.
 

þ INDIVIDUAL ACTION SHOULD BE UNFETTERED.

þ NOTHING SHOULD INTERFER WITH THE NATURAL
  SELECTION OF THE FITTEST:

     þ NOT EVEN PUBLIC SANITATION, WHICH PROTECTS
       AND THEREBY PERPETUATES WEAKER TYPES.
 

þ SPENCER'S PHILOSOPHY HAD A GREATER IMPACT IN U.S.
  THAN IN ENGLAND.
 

3
 WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, AMERICAN DISCIPLE
   OF HERBERT SPENCER

þ  HERBERT SPENCER'S FOREMOST AMERICAN FOLLOWER WAS
   EPISCOPAL MINISTER & YALE ECONOMIST WM. GRAHAM
   SUMNER.
 

þ WITHIN SOCIAL SYSTEM, INDIVIDUALS RISE & FALL:

     þ PERSON WITH ABILITY & DRIVE WILL RISE.
 

þ CONCENTRATED WEALTH JUSTIFIED, FOR IT WAS USED TO
PRODUCE FOR OTHERS.

þ ECONOMIC ELITE WAS JUSTIFIED: THEY WERE THERE
  BECAUSE THEY HAD PRIVIDED THE GOODS & SERVICES
  SOCIETY WANTED.

þ SUMNER, THEN, APPLIED EVOLUTIONARY IDEAS TO
  SOCIETY.

     þ UNRESTRAINED INDIVIDUALISM GOOD, FOR ONLY
       SOCIAL GOOD COULD COME FROM COMPETITION.

     þ GREAT CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH ARE GOOD. FOR
       THAT WEALTH OS PUT TO GOOD USE FOR OTHERS.

     þ NO NEED TO SHOW CARING OF SOCIAL
       RESPONSIBILITY FOR OTHERS:

          þ FOR ANYONE DESTROYED BY COMPETITION
            COULD BE CONSIDERED UNFIT, NOT CAPABLE
            OF MAKING A LARGE ENOUGH CONTRIBUTION
            TO THE SOCIAL ORDER TO SURVIVE.

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