May 14 2013
Social Darwinism Shaping Reaganomics
Ronald Reagan made many economic decisions that supported his beliefs in Social Darwinism throughout his presidency. Social Darwinism is considered to be the ideas of struggle for existence and “survival of the fittest,” a term coined by Herbert Spencer in order to justify social policies. Over time the individuals with superior biological characteristics will dominate populations that this super species possessed. Couples who possessed these special qualities would then pass them down to their offspring, creating an elite generation in the modern world. Dominic Sandbrook the author of Mad as Hell, The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right, discusses president Reagan’s policies that were influenced by Social Darwinism beliefs with the assumption that conflict between groups in society leads to social progress.
During his Presidency, Reagan was faced with many foreign matters, such as the ending of the Cold War, the 1986 bombing of Libya, and the shock of the Iran-Contra affair. He publicly described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire” and supported anti-communist movements worldwide while spending his first term forgoing the strategy of détente, by ordering a massive military buildup in an arms race with the USSR. Under a policy that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine, Reagan and his administration also provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist resistance movements in an effort to "rollback" Soviet-backed communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Reagan recognized the change of the Soviet leadership with Mikhail Gorbachev, and shifted to diplomacy, with a view to encourage the Soviet leader to pursue substantial arms agreements. Reagan's personal mission was to achieve "a world free of nuclear weapons", which he regarded as "totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of...