A Social Darwinian Approach to the Relationship between Economics and Ethics


This study investigates the relationship between economics and ethics from the viewpoint of Social Darwinism principles while also aiming to explore the existence of certain principles regarding this theory and its view of evolutionary ethics on the philosophical grounds of the prevailing economic system of the modern world, capitalism. The most notable principle of Social Darwinism in economic activities has been that of “leave alone,” expressed as “laissez faire,” which has played an important role in the development and proliferation of the free market concept. Also, the assertion of social evolution in that only the strongest and fittest can survive in all areas corresponds to capitalism in the economic domain because capitalism has been described as a system in which economic power is emphasized and increasingly higher levels of consumption are required to protect this power. This has led, and continues to lead, to the creation of previously non-existent needs apart from vital needs while at the same time increasing consumption to satisfy these needs. Yet, encouraging such high levels of consumption has in reality served to beget a policy of exploitation, apparent in several entities, among these being man, nature, resources, and time. In this light, the entire network of these relationships has been explored through a descriptive account in this study.


ethics capitalism free market exploitation social darwinism