By Peter Singer

ISBN-10: 0300083238

ISBN-13: 9780300083231

In A Darwinian Left, Peter Singer argues that the political left has misunderstood Darwinian rules and accordingly been adverse to the applying of Darwinian pondering to politics. these at the political left who search a extra egalitarian society should still as an alternative embody evolutionary rules and how to use evolutionary considering in an effort to construct the type of cooperative society sought.

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Extra resources for A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation

Example text

Marx and Engels were 24 scornful of 'utopian socialists' and insisted that their own form of socialism was not Utopian. They meant by this, however, only that they had discovered the laws of human historical development that would lead to the communist society, and that therefore their socialism was 'scientific', which in their terms meant that it was not Utopian. According to these laws of historical development, the class struggle that was driving history would be ended by the victory of the proletariat, and the future communist society would be: .

Consider hierarchy. To say that human beings under a wide range of conditions have a tendency to form hierarchies is not to say that it is right for our society to remain hierarchical; but it is to issue a warning that we should not expect to abolish hierarchy by eliminating the particular hierarchy we have in our society. For example, if we live in a society with a hierarchy based on a hereditary aristocracy, and we abolish the hereditary aristocracy, as the French and American revolutionaries did, we are likely to find that a new hierarchy emerges based on something else, perhaps military power or wealth.

Nevertheless, if the theory of evolution applied to human history in so far as humans are evolved beings, as well as to natural history, the antagonisms and conflicts that Marx saw communism as resolving - the 'antagonism between man and nature, between man and man' and the conflict between 'individual and species' - would never be fully resolved, even though we may learn to make them less destructive. For Darwin the struggle for existence, or at least for the existence of one's offspring, is unending.

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A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation by Peter Singer


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