Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Social Darwinism turns Peace into Undeclared War...

The attributes of the Age of the Big (Social Darwinism Mk I) makes the idea of contrasting it with the concept of the War of the Big (Social Darwinism Mk II) a moot point.

This is because the Social Darwin idea of reducing all Life to an unceasing, total, struggle for life or death means that only a formal declaration on paper could separate Darwinian War from Darwinian Peace.

It was always assumed , without much proof, that in this struggle the big would  inevitably triumph over the small and then the ever bigger would do likewise over the merely 'big' .

By contrast ,Henry Dawson championed the small all his life - it must have come almost naturally to him, with his coming from a Canadian province that was increasingly viewed as too small to be relevant to Canadian values.

But he also noticed in his scientific investigations that while the big did thrive in stable circumstances, the small could still at least survive in hidden niches.

But in non-stable times, the big (over-extended) broke up,  while the small (insured against normal hard times) took it all in stride.

Rather than modern science quickly dismissing Life's small as just part of evolution's dusty, distant beginnings, he felt they should give the small a second glance - and a second chance.

He extended this in the 1930s to those judged chronically ill and second rate and then, in the war years , to those American young people with SBE who were judged to be 'life unworthy of expensive medical care during a military crisis' .

Modern science had no time for his theory - his championing  of the small was viewed as a damning folly from a medical scientist with an otherwise worthy medical career.

But post modernity science is largely shaped around the concept of reality's inherent complexity and diversity : admitting that reality will always consist of the mixing together of large and small phenomena and large and small beings.

In this long view, Dawson's folly begins to look quite prescient ...

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