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Is Capitalism a Form of Social Darwinism?

Discovery Institute
Richard Weikart and David Boze
Audio File (10.25M)

On this episode of the Discovery Institute Podcast, host David Boze interviews Dr. Richard Weikart about the concept behind a loaded term that President Obama recently used to declaim Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal — “Social Darwinism.” Popularized in the 1950s, the term carries connotations of racism, eugenics, and Nazism. However, as Dr. Jay Richards points out in his recent article on the subject in National Review, leading advocates of economic freedom have seen it as supportive of, not detrimental to, human rights and welfare.

Richard Weikart is Professor of History at California State University and the author of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany.

Richard Weikart

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Richard Weikart is Emeritus Professor of History, California State University, Stanislaus, and author of seven books, including From Darwin to Hitler, Hitler’s Ethic, The Death of Humanity, and Hitler’s Religion. His most recent book is Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism (2022). His PhD dissertation, Socialist Darwinism, earned the biennial prize of the Forum for History of Human Sciences as best dissertation in that field. He has lectured at many universities and other venues in the US and Europe. He also has been interviewed on dozens of radio shows, podcasts, and TV, and appeared in seven documentaries, including Expelled. Some of his lectures and interviews are available on YouTube.

David Boze

David Boze is communications director for Washington Policy Center. He has been a long-time fixture in Seattle radio, having hosted morning and afternoon drive shows during his fifteen years on the air.
Barack Obama
Social Darwinism