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Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been …

… a social Darwinist?

11:22 AM, Apr 6, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The latest taunt in the world of playground politics seems to be “Social Darwinist.”  Which, if you don’t know what it means, would be the theory that the toughest do not merely survive, but prevail, and deservedly so.

Obama speaks on pay as you go 2009-06-09

Think Chicago politics.

President Obama recently called the Republican budget, “thinly veiled social Darwinism.” And one wonders if the wound will ever heal. 

To be called such a thing ...  almost as damaging as to be labeled a “Straussian.” (Remember that?) What’s next? Will someone smear a political opponent as a “logical positivist?”

There are some, evidently, who believe that there is political utility in branding a political or intellectual opponent a “social Darwinist.” It does, after all, change the topic from the high price of gas and the low rate of job growth.

Thus, Jonathan Chait, sticking the label on economist Greg Mankiw. Who objects to Chait’s selective use of quotes?

In a fair fight, a disinterested ref would rule in Mankiw’s favor. But that’s not the point, is it? This is a fight without rules, as witness President Obama’s recent speech regarding the Supreme Court. It is winner take all, do whatever it takes, win ugly  … but win.

Sort of like the universe of Social Darwinism. 

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