Karl Marx was the father of laissez-faire which means the survival of the fittest. Those who develop the most complex of societies, those with the most money and power are considered the fittest and have “triumphed” over the inferior. This occurs in order for society to move forward and create a work ethic for members of the working class to follow. This may only occur for members of the dominant group. Those who are non-white and non-male may not experience the same benefits.
Poverty a sign of inferiority because they don’t have the power the fittest have.
Those who owned the means of production were the “fit” individuals because this gave them power over the lower classes. Spencer argued against government interference to help the lower classes, he said that this would only go against the natural evolution of mankind. The Welfare system, in Spencer’s critique is a system to help the parasites of society to survive. They drain the system that the capitalists have built. Over time these “unfit” classes would either improve or die off.
“Simple societies were like infants, which would either grow up, aided, ideally by the example of more advances adults, or not evolve and therefore die off.” (Social Theory for a Change, P.53).
These ideas were from a capitalist prospective. Spencer felt that an entirely free market could work; Marx’s laissez-faire ideas backed the idea that government interference or regulation would once again only inhibit the natural evolution of society.
“Only laissez-faire (Free economy) capitalism, which permitted individuals to profit as they saw fit, would allow human happiness and further societal progress” (P.49)
Spencer’s ideas were imperialist because they say that only the strongest/fittest of societies will last over time and “inferior” nations wouldn’t be able to adapt to the changing world and would eventually disappear. We see this still occurring from Britain’s imperialist times to the United States, with the war in Iraq.
Imperialist defined “The situation whereby George Bush’s state forcibly imposes its sovereignty Iraq another for the purpose of economic exploitation.” (R, P.482)