The political influence of Darwinism is not linked with onle one single theory but to too many different ones like capitalism communism, racism, imperialism and facism. And the common ground is opposition of monotheistic religions.
At the beginning of second century, Europe accepted Christianity gradually under the Emperor Constantine and the impact of Christianity on European culture held sway until the 18th century. In this century the orders of religion was rejected by thinkers and embraced the influence of pagan Greeks and Roman culture. French revolution was a revolt against religion.
Anti-religious thinkers as Voltaire, Montesquieu and Diderot laid the foundation of French Revolution. An anti-religious movement was established against Catholics and Paris’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral was changed into the Temple of Reason. The statues of Christian saints were removed by the allegorical woman ‘Goddess of Reson’, many priests and nuns were killed and churches were destroyed.
In 19th centuries the philosophy of materialism was adopted by many thinkers the existence of God was rejected and was replaced by logic. Religious beliefs and values were taken as impediments and later on Darwinism was used as tool to destroy the religion. In capitalism the slogan of ‘Struggle to survive’ is deeply influenced by the Darwinism and provides theoretical background to this ruthless system which is evident in the free market system. Darwinism also provides the support to seemingly different theory of communism.
The philosophy of materialism says that only matter exists in all living things and human consciousness itself is matter in motion, Baron d’Holbac which is an important name in French Revolution wrote a book ‘System de la Nature’ (The System of Nature) which was published in 1770, in his book he used a few so-called scientific possibilities of existence of matter.
The great support for Darwinism came from bourgeoisie which was a capitalist class of Europe and bourgeoisie used Darwinism against feudal class and nobility. The theory Darwin claims that man is descendent of animal destroyed the foundation of belief. Infect Natural science and it discussion became a class struggle and used as a weapon against belief and tradition and bourgeoisie fought with this weapon.
Capitalism got its legitimacy in Darwinism; ‘fittest of the survival’ became a slogan which was used by the Europeans for their imperial and colonial pursuits throughout the world. And these material pursuits were so strong that even the scientific inconsistency an nonsensical claims of Darwinism were ignored
Here we have interesting situation that the Darwinism has not only its support from Capitalism but also from Communism. It is because of Darwinism’s destruction of religious belief and which have benefited for both systems. Struggle for survival ruined the true essence of religion which teaches modesty, self-control,
To be Continued
(The writer teaches Finance at LGU and can be reached through [email protected])