Friday, September 5, 2008

evolution, capitalism, and communism

One interesting accusation of evolution is that it leads to communism and socialism, (national socialism in particular). It is a common claim by creationists to charge evolution with the foundation of Nazism, communism, socialism, fascism, and many other ideologies which are fundamentally socialistic.

Of course knowing that many claim evolution is the foundation of socialism and communism is rather useless if you don't know what any of those are. Now since it is usually Marxist communism which is usually branded as an "evolutionist ideology" I will look at communism and Nazism.

Communism is essentially the idea of a classless egalitarian society where nothing is owned by a single individual but everything is owned by the society at large, also in communism no one is wealthier then another, everyone is part of the working class. In communism you whether you are a plumber or a rocket scientist you get the same amount in return, because of this, you cannot get ahead of anyone else in a communist society, you will either starve or be in the working class but there is no very rich, just the very poor.

Communism sounds wonderful on paper but it is fundamentally flawed in practice due to the fact that it assumes that human nature is basically good and altruistic; when it is clearly not. Socialism a less extreme form, also envisions a society where there is limited private ownership and almost everything is owned by the state. The difference being that most socialist countries were democracies while most communist nations have been ruled by dictators; plus the fact that in communism the wealthy class is overthrown and replaced by the working class while socialism simply has the government taking over every area of life.

Now Capitalism is the virtual antithesis of communism and socialism; in capitalism private ownership is very important, everyone has to work; the means of production (meaning what you need to do your job and the material you are working on) is owned by private investors, and the economy is built on a free market system. Essentially, how well you work to earn money determines which class you will be in (lower, middle, or upper). What you receive depends on how much and how well you work. Capitalism shows our basic biological and psychological need to get ahead and compete with others. All in all, capitalism is superior to communism in that it is more consistent with human nature then communism.

Now in review, which one better fits the evolutionary theory? the basic mechanism of evolution is natural selection. Those who better adapt to their environment are more likely to live to produce offspring to carry on their lineage. Its all about who is the strongest and most productive. Compared to communism, evolution is actually quite different. If evolution really was the foundation of communism. Nothing would ever go extinct, and all organisms would be get the food they need. And the ones to go extinct would be the most successful, the most productive organisms would be eradicated to make way for the more humble creatures. In actuality it is quite obvious that capitalism reflects evolution much more then communism. capitalism like evolution demands that only the best and the most productive reach the top, private owners competing with one and other, very similar to the biological theory of evolution. It is simply libel to blame evolution for communism and fascism and other beliefs, it is shameful for Christians to resort to such tactics.


tu said...

nice article

Yash said...

Although I am an atheist - because once I know I am created by evolution then I know that my "ethics" come from pure rationality and logic from the viewpoint of a social animal (we did survive not only due to competition but also cooperation) --- I totally agree with this post- well written, keep it up.
Just one small point.. In communism people work too (in fact everyone is supposed to be employed- even though many are not gainfully employed ) and they are neither very poor nor very rich- just very equal- and thats not natural.

Anonymous said...

I believe your opponets are talking about the collective. The right of a nation to impose its will on its weaker neighbors becomes justified under a survival of the fittest. Before Darwin the excuses for war had to sound noble, to protect your right to exist. After Darwin you are simply exercising your national right. Hitler needs breathing space you take it, much like a lion bringing down a wildabeast. He was taking advantage of weaker peoples. Before Darwin we call him a monster afterwards how can we judge him.

Buck O said...

Anonymous has it right. Created Rationalist completely misunderstands the argument that Hilter was animated by Darwin's theory. Darwin's theory blossomed and caught fire in Germany first, during the exact time of Hitler's intellectual development. Darwin wrote in his autobiography that if a man rejects God, he "can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones."
Hitler writes in Mein Kampf: "The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so, it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all." Hitler intended to accelerate that evolution.

Anonymous said...

Cooperation is just as important if not more important than competition. Richard Dawkins does a great job of explaining this in Nice Guys Finish First.