The Tea Parties Bring Back Social Darwinism http://www.alternet.org/story/146346/the_tea_parties_bring_back_social_darwinism
The right-wing populism manifested in the movement is essentially the same old Social Darwinism that appeared in U.S. society in the nineteenth century.Sumner believed that the fundamental law of the universe was survival of the fittest. So progressivism or socialism or any ideology that aimed to “save individuals from any of the difficulties or hardships of the struggle for existence” was pure folly. Like today’s right-wing populist revolt, Sumner’s brand of Social Darwinism propagated an unabashed but seamless defense of two groups that would seem to be at odds: the Captain of Industry and the Forgotten Man.
For Sumner, both of these figurative “men” had more to fear from the paternal state than they did from each other. Take the Captain of Industry. For Sumner, society depended on the creation of individual wealth; thus, social advancement for all depended on the financial abilities of the few. “If we should set a limit to the accumulation of wealth,” he wrote, “we should say to our most valued producers, ‘We do not want you to do us the services which you best understand how to perform, beyond a certain point.’ It would be like killing off our generals in a war.”