There is no way we can analyze the latest essay posted at the blog of the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.
We can’t analyze it because that would require pointing out one or two major flaws in the article’s facts or reasoning. But this one is all flaws. There is nothing in it of any value whatsoever.
Nor can we even describe the essay. How many synonyms for duplicity are there? For misdirection? For excrement? Were you to list them all, you wouldn’t have begun to describe this thing. It’s by Michael Flannery, a Discoveroid “fellow.” The Discoveriods’ biographical material indicates that he’s some kind of librarian at the University of Alabama, and he’s also an adjunct instructor of history and sociology. If his work today is an example of his scholarly accomplishments, then … well, we don’t need to say it. Flannery may be a fine fellow aside from this kind of work, but we have no interest in meeting him to find out.
His contribution today is titled Darwinism and Stalinism. Stalinism? The rational mind boggles at the title.
As we pointed out in Marx, Stalin, and Darwin, Stalin opposed Darwin’s theory. This man, not Darwin, was Stalin’s biologist: Trofim Denisovich Lysenko, and Lysenko was definitely an anti-Darwinian. Further, Darwin’s work wasn’t even remotely related to communism. The concepts don’t mesh; they actually conflict. Marxism’s maxim: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is pretty much the opposite of natural selection.
Further, Flannery doesn’t even discuss Darwin’s theory of evolution. It’s all about Stalin’s political behavior and communist party politics. But he keeps tossing in Darwin’s name, as if that somehow demonstrates some kind of historical causation. It doesn’t, but the smear is all that matters to the Discoveroids, and Flannery has willingly provided it.
Flannery also makes much of “social Darwinism,” something Darwin never developed or endorsed. It was concocted by Herbert Spencer, and it’s a concept as worthless as “social justice” and “social science.” Indeed, we’ve often said that the word “social” in such contexts is best understood as a negation of the term to which it is attached. Hey — speaking of social Darwinism, there is one rational statement in Flannery’s essay. It’s this:
The keys to social Darwinism, in other words, are not to be found in the technical expressions of evolutionary theory but rather in much larger forces. There are two features characteristic of social Darwinism and they are fairly broad.
First is its metaphysical foundation grounded in an effective atheism. It may or may not actually be called atheism, but a metaphysical outlook that has the net effect of placing man as the sole arbiter of moral and ethical life is a necessary condition of social Darwinism.
Another characteristic is more empirical. It comprises a general effort to translate evolutionary theory into some kind of social construct of progress.
See? Even Flannery says (albeit unwittingly) that social Darwinism has nothing to do with Darwin’s work. Anyway, that’s all we’re going to quote from Flannery’s essay. It’s pure … well, it’s Discoveroid rubbish. Go ahead and read it if you like. You’ll see what we mean.
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