Social Darwinism in USA ( American comment welcomed)

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by semper, Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. just been reading an Article on Social Darwinism, which came up inthe light of Hurricane Katrina, i feel quite horrified bythe neglect of the American underclass both Black and White, it seems that when you are rich in America the American dream is great , when you are poor that dreamis very elusive and grotty.

    in the UK we at least have a NHS (socialised medicare) and welfare support, while flawed at times is still better than the alternative

    is it right that people should be left to fend for themselves in circumstance of no fault of theirs , would it be right for a powerful nation to do so ? would such discontent cause civil riots and distubances in the future as had happened elsewhere and possibly shoring problems for the future if not addressed.

    discussion from both sides of the atlantic is welcomed ......
  2. Yet another typically one-sided view from the BBC... :roll:
  3. that why i am asking for US arrsers comments, also some replies on the bottom of the page are from US folks, but would like to hear from verified US arrsers here and generate a discussion about it ..
  4. From The Loiusiana Coroner:

    Vital Statistics of All Bodies at St. Gabriel Morgue



    Process # %
    RELEASED 338 40%

    Coroner’s case; death not storm-related 20 1%
    Ready to be released - Contacting Family Members 155 18%

    ID MADE; awaiting autopsy 49 5%

    UNKNOWN Identity 321 36%

    Demographic Information for the 562 Victims Identified
    (see first four “Status” categories above) :

    Gender # %
    Unknown 6 1%
    Male 288 51%
    Female 268 48%
    TOTAL 562

    Race # %
    Unknown 48 8%

    African American 267 48%

    Asian Pacific 0 0%

    Caucasian 230 41%

    Hispanic 13 2%

    Native American 3 1%

    Other 1 0%

    TOTAL 562

    267 African Americans died compared to 230 caucasian.

    37 more black people than white people died, given that the African American population in the area was far higher than Caucasian, it would indicate a higher percentage of poor white people died. You wouldn't think so from the BBC coverage. A further example of an Anti Bush agenda at the Beeb perhaps?
  5. The article does read slanted, but I agree with the general principle. I'm not sure anyone who embraces the free-market, self-made philosophy could not. Social Darwinism is a fact in's great if you're competitive to the point of ruthlessness. Not so if you're content at a certain level. And God help you if you go from comfortable to poor in a very short time (think losing your investments in an Enron-style collapse).

    However, one thing I don't see addressed much in international media is the increasing feeling that the vast American middle class is getting screwed, or at least lost in the media vortex between the very poor and the very wealthy. Many people I know have expressed the feeling that things that used to be held out to you if you fulfilled certain milestones in your life ("Work hard, get a college degree and buy your home") are no longer protection against lifelong financial struggle. The Economist did an interesting article on meritocracy in America which addresses this in more depth:

    Story Link

    For my money, this is where the real impetus for change will come from.
  6. To quote "King" from Platoon... "The poor is always getting fecked over by the rich, always have.. always will"

    I should reply Xin Loi I suppose...
  7. If anything our nation is the exact reverse of the case stated above with reference to the USA, in that our society is geared very much towards the wants and needs of the broad middle classes, often to the detriment of the very high earners and of course the low waged. Although we do indeed have a "catch all" welfare state, that very nearly works properly. (it's worth reflecting upon what you reckon is the most complained about social issue in the UK today BTW).

    If, God forbid, we had a disaster here on the scale of Katrina, who do you think would die first and/or in the greatest numbers?

    Unless a tsunami were to strike Henley during regatta week or some other peculiar anomaly, it'll be the poorer end of our society that bears the brunt.

    Is there anything to be done about it?

    Nothing that won't cost the higher income sections of the population money now. You want to stand for election on that platform?
  8. But the point being Hurricanes / Tsunamis don't care what part of the social scale you are from. If you in its path, you in its path.

    I would like to think though that is some disaster of that magnitude did hit Britain, then the rest of us lucky survivors would rally around in the manner we did for others. We are good at putting our hands in our pockets when it matters.
  9. Remind me, biscuits (delete whichever option is inappropriate in each case) -- large numbers of people immigrate illegally into the UK to a) work or b) claim benefits, and large numbers of people immigrate illegally into the US to a) work, or b) claim benefits...

    Why does the middle-class professional who has been made redundant have a harder time under the welfare state than the scum who have never worked? Why are so many cases of families playing the system and being able to receive huge quantities of money and housing at public expense? Why are we in a situation where teenage girls are getting pregnant purely for the financial security this brings at our expense?
  10. Do we?
    Or are we just good at handing over "concience money?"
    Doesn't matter how much you rally the round the orphans, you'll find that in (say) 9 cases out of 10 poor folk die first regardless.

    They tend to live in (relatively) poorer quality homes, more densely packed.
    Their diet and general health is poorer.
    They have percentage wise, less access to personal transport.
    They have fewer reserves, financial or material, with which to "sit out" a period of instability.
    They tend not to have as much experience of life outside their own milieu, evacuation is a bigger issue to them.

    I would also say, personally that they're probably, again relatively, less aware of what's actually happening beyond their own block of houses than maybe the case with the better off.

    Those are very sweeping generalisations. But I'd lay good odds that for the majority of the world, never mind Britain, they are truisms.
  11. Stoaty....

    These things happen because you live in a nation with a Welfare State.
    They are the downside of having social protection.

    Up until the point at which you, or someone close to you requires to avail of Social Services they will be the banes of your life.

    When/If it ever happens to you they will cease to be important issues.

    Edit:- Of course the people your talking about, the teeneage girls and the scrounging scum... It was their US cousins that we're referred to in the article in the initial post. So we should really be quite pleased that they died then... Yeah? :roll:
  12. Herrenbloke - As ever I'm quite skeptical about your figures.... Do you have a link to the article where you got those figures?

    The Economist had a good article about Social Darwinism a couple of weeks ago. Its point is that the term 'social Darwinism' is actually slightly misleading. It is too simplistic to say Darwinism is about 'survival of the fittest' - In reality many animals collaborate to succeed in nature. I would argue that the human equivalent of collaboraiton is having a social safety net (although it may well be too secure in Europe).
  13. I'm not sure the idea of Social Darwinism is quite so pervasive in the USA as you might gather from watching the Katrina coverage.

    A lot of decent folk tried to help the ones who were stuck (with no expectation or intention of getting anything material out of it for themselves) but got chased away by the "authorities" for "interfering."
  14. You will be quite surprised as to just how socialised the US is, much to the dislike of a lot of members of the Republican party. For example, no person may be refused life-saving medical care on the grounds that they can't afford it, the bill gets taken up by the Government. There is welfare, be it food stamps or the dole (such as I'm on right now, alas).

    The Katrina problems were not so much social issues in cause as in effect: That people would shoot at rescuers or start looting is simple greed and lack of principle, not a case of the oppressed being liberated. The main disaster was the failing of the appropriate government agencies. The City and State governments failed miserably, and the Feds didn't pick up the dropped ball as quickly as they could have done.

    The issues are the same throughout the Western World.

  15. Tricam... Louisiana Coroner = Hurrican Katrina... link wouldn't copy. Unlike Neue Arbeit I don't make figures up. I was once again making a valid point about biased BBC reporting or should I say the continuance of Government social engineering? Why have the BBC ignored the truth?