Evolution and Political Theory

Today my dad showed me a review of a book in the New York Times. The book is something about natural selection and how it supports/underpins capitalism and those who were capitalist first. This reminded me about an old objection to evolution: at the time Darwin wrote the “On the Origin of Species” the idea of capitalism was en vogue and therefore ‘struggle for survival’ was taken to be just a metaphor for capitalist society. Darwin’s theory of evolution was supposedly reduced to capitalism with window dressing. (ah how fortunes are reversed)

Thankfully I remembered my old response to this objection: evolution works just as well under socialism. The ‘metaphor’ that you use to describe the process of evolution is independent of evolution itself: we can use both a capitalistic ‘survival of the fittest’ and/or a socialistic ‘survival of communal’ to describe the process of evolution. This means that instead of focusing upon the struggle for survival, we focus upon organisms ability to best work within their community/environment. The organisms that work best within their respective environment will be the fittest.

Since evolution works with socialist metaphors, it is not dependent upon capitalism and I can’t see any reason for using evolution as support for capitalism, or vice versa.