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    Social Darwinism

    “The growth of a large business is merely the survival of the fittest. The American Beauty rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance, which can bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds, which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.” John Rockefeller (1839-1937). Quoted by Richard Hofstadter in “Social Darwinism in American Thought” (1959).

    Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Trust, in the early years of the oil patch, ruthlessly crushed competitors—the new buds of his flowery allegory—with secret, monopolistic, anti-competitive, and illegal practices. But they did provide consumers a petroleum product with a new standard of safety, reliability, and economy. It was social Darwinism in a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    TAGS: Social Dawininism. Business, Evolution. Ecology.  Nature. Culture, John D. Rockefeller.

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