A Critique to Social Darwinism


It is true that society and an organism are comparable in its growth: baby to adult, simple to complex and differentiation of structure accompanied by the progressive differentiation of function. But the fundamental differences are aesthetics, unrealistic, elitist and liberal. Just like an organism a society forms a concrete whole. One can be free at a certain personal level but it cannot be so free as to be relatively dispersed. The whole society exists not only for an individual but the whole because an individual is part of a whole. Societies are formed in the process of man’s effort to survive it evolves in the understanding that no man can live in an island. It is from the basic understanding that our lives as social being are interspersed or interrelated directly or indirectly.

We find this reality in the Philippine context wherein from a people who clumped together to live near the shoreline “taga ilog” or those that live at the heart of our rich forest “aeta”, tagakaolo or near lakes “T’boli” or seas “muslims” we traversed the divisions from fighting off one tribe that is trying to subvert our territories or transgress our traditions and beliefs into fighting off the Spaniards in their efforts to colonize us by way of the cross or the sword.

The characteristics of a society depend on the social practice as an individual’s character depends on its social role. In every society one person play roles that further develop their consciousness. Such as the practice of the indigenous people who hunts together and divides food evenly into households; this has developed an individual consciousness that is neither greedy (for those who have more) nor weak (for those who have less). For the aeta who relies on the supply of nature to eat they have learnt to value nature by not polluting their resources. Societies developed a strata or class from the development of private property, the families of those who were treated with utmost respect sultan and datu became owners of slaves, fine jewelries and became rulers. This was further reflected in the Spanish era wherein Filipinos became their slaves as vast lands were grabbed and forced labor was implemented.

At the current time, the capitalists, landlords and bureaucrats are the ruling class while the laborer, the farmers and each employee were the lower class. Thus, it has been widely propagated that the whole exist merely for the benefit of the person when it should not be.

In every development of a society the exploitative class are overthrown by the exploited those that bear the burdens of daily toil and surplus production. Their conflicting interest which has resulted to different systems serves as man’s guide to living in a society. Common resources must be used for the common good; only a communal life will develop a perfect character.