Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lindbergh's "Wave of the Future" and Prell's "Underdogma" : plus ca change, plus c'est meme chose ...

As 'literature', there isn't much in common between Anne Morrow Lindbergh's airy if wooly personal essay style 1940 "Wave of the Future" and Michael Prell's 2013 dense cut-and-paste thesis "Underdogma".

But in terms of actual intent, there is surprisingly little difference between the pair.

Isolationist Republican Lindbergh implies, in part, that America's traditional enemy, Britain, is once again trying to exploit American' heartfelt empathy for the underdog - here being Europe's smaller nations falling before Hitler and Stalin's might - to once again to try and drag America into Britain's wars, for Britain's benefit.

Tea Party Republican Prell says that that America's newest enemies (the Moslems being the most prominent) are exploiting Americans' traditional empathy towards the underdog to undercut Americians' sense of their right (simply because they are so big and so powerful) to lead the free world by dictatorial fiat and the bloody sword.

The upper/inner dogs (because they control "big business") always condemn any actions by what they call "big government"; actions that actually are designed to protect the small under/outer dogs from the big upperdogs

Both Lindbergh and Prell say that in terms of evolutionary success, Might is self evidently Right : current "big" successes speak for themselves.

But Darwin never said that.

Evolutionary success for him was limited to re-productive success, with the emphasis on the re-.

His theory was niche oriented and hence time based, not numbers based.

Darwin said, in effect, that a species that reproduced a trillion individual members over each of twenty generations and then went extinct was much less of an evolutionary success than a species that reproduced only a few thousand members over at least ten thousand generations and yet is still going strong.

This is because the smaller species lived in a much smaller niche so its small numbers were hardly a surprise - but its long term survival was a clear sign of its greater evolutionary success.

Misunderstanding Darwinism and abusing it, in the social arena, seems to never go out of style.

Ironically, Social Darwinism's ongoing ability to evolve and survive shows this inaccurate meme's amazing evolutionary success ....

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