Monday, September 27, 2010

Misunderstanding of the Social Structure

Darwin was born in an upper middle class family and had never truly experienced poverty. He might have seen himself as belonging to the strongest social group, which might can cultivated his point of view that to “let the strongest live and the weakest die” (p. 220) is a process of natural selection. However, he was wrong because he might not have known the social structure very well. If there were no lower class, then there would also be no middle class and upper class. Darwin did not understand that much of the wealth of the middle class and upper class is created by the lower class. For instance, the people from upper or middle class would exploit the lower class people in many areas, such as hard labor, low wage, and heavy taxation. Thus, if the lower class (weakest) disappeared, the upper or middle class would no longer be the strongest. In other words, if people are in an equal position, then the people from the upper class would also have to do the things which the people from the lower class used to do. However, people from the upper or middle class might not have the ability to do many things that the lower class people do because they are used to commanding the lower class people to do what they did not want to do. Also, since the upper or middle class people are used to high positions and living in ease and comfort, they might not be able to perform manual or physical works. Actually, physically the lower class people should be stronger than the upper and middle class people.
Because of the social background at that time, the upper-middle class women were probably physically much weaker than the lower class women. Those women did not have to do any work and also did not know how to work, so without money and support from their families, these women might not have been able to survive on their own. Darwin’s wife was also an upper-middle class woman, so without her family wealth and background, she also would not be able to survive. The reason that his wife belonged to the strongest social group is because of her family; it was not natural and instead it was because of human factor. If his wife were left in the nature, she might have been the weakest, and I believe that Darwin did not mean that his wife should die. At the same time, Darwin might also have been a merciless person. When he wrote the statement “let the strongest live and the weakest die”, it reflects that he might just care about people in high social position, and that the people in the lower class might have meant nothing to him. To take a step further, only to “let the strongest live and the weakest die” is also unethical. Are only the people from upper and middle class human being? People that are weak also have their rights to live. Actually, in the reality, governments always try to help the lower class or weaker people to deal with their problems. Thus, when we apply Darwinism to the real society, it is also inaccurate.

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