Captains of Industry Aim:
The Captains of Industry: Our Darwinian Legacy Ralph E. Ancil Because industrial development has a major effect on the utilization of natural resources and the quality of the environment, the attitudes of the captains of industry are important. Richard Hofstadter has shown that the leading 19th century industrialists subscribed to Social Darwinism which entailed a hostile view of the environment: But what did this belief mean to the great industrialists in terms of business and industry?
To Andrew Carnegie it meant at least progress: I remember that light came as in a flood and all was clear. Not only had I got rid of theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution. Nor is there any conceivable end to his march to the light: Rockefeller is reported to have said in a Sunday School class: The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest.
The American Beauty rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which brings cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working out of Captains of industry law of nature and a law of God.
Railroad executive Chauncy Depew asserted that the guests of the great dinners and public banquets of New York City represented the survival of the fittest of all who came in search of fortune.
They were the ones with superior abilities. Likewise railroad magnate James J. Hill defended the railroad companies by saying their fortunes were determined according to the law of survival of the fittest. In order to resist the many reformist groups such as Grangers, trade unionists, socialists, etc.
The straightforward application of Darwinian evolution as defined by Herbert Spencer provided that justification. It brought with it a "paralysis of the will to reform"5 and allowed injustice to continue in the name of evolution.
However, the ruthlessness of this attitude and its relation to Darwinian concepts of evolution did not go unnoticed and uncriticized. Pierce also indicated that these concepts were widely received because the age was favourably disposed to them.
Never in history, as far as we know, had there been such a determined, richly subsidized, politically organized attempt to persuade the human race that all progress, all prosperity, all salvation, individual and social, depend on an unrestrained conflict for food and money, on the suppression and elimination of the weak by the strong, on Free Trade, Free Contract, Free Competition, Natural Liberty, Laissez-Faire: Darwin's biological theories of natural selection, of the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest dovetailed beautifully into Liberalism's belief in individualism, private enterprise, Laissez-faire, and progress, and seemed to give scientific justification to the liberals' political, economic and social program.
And Lester Frank Ward, a disciple of Spencer, once remarked that he was inclined to agree with the British philosopher Carlyle's description of Darwinism as a 'gospel of dirt'. Just as man struggled against a hostile natural environment, so too businessmen had to struggle against a hostile artificial environment in industry.
In other words, greed, the short-sighted desire for material wealth and immediate gratification, was supposedly the way of nature and of true progress. Since the Renaissance, non-Christian, secular ideas had grown significantly. By the nineteenth century, western society had become sufficiently materialistic and mechanistic to accept the Darwinian concept of evolution.
It was received by the intellectuals of academia, prompted by the literary naturalists, and applied economically and politically by the captains of industry in the form of Social Darwinism.
The message was also carried by Herbert Spencer, whose influence was profound, and others to the common man. This concept of evolution portrayed nature as a complex of impersonal, ruthless, cruel forces against which man must struggle to carve out his existence.
In the artificial environments of businesses and cities, this hostility to nature included a hostility to one's neighbor. Death and wastefulness were perceived as necessary elements in the progress of evolution. There was little room to see the environment as a fragile, delicate system in need of industrial man's solicitous care.
Nature was, in fact, the opponent. There was also another, less obvious message to Darwinian evolutionism.Captains of Industry Dinner 7th Annual Captains of Industry Dinner The “Captains of Industry Fundraising Dinner” will be held at the The Augusta Country Club, 19 Hammonds Grove, Manchester, ME from 5pm to 10pm This dinner is for everyone and anyone that would like to attend.
5-Captains of Industry - authorSTREAM Presentation. Slide Document 2: The Life and Times of John Rockefeller John D Rockefeller was an extraordinarily successful American businessman during the late s and the early s.
The Captains of Industry: Our Darwinian Legacy Ralph E. Ancil Because industrial development has a major effect on the utilization of natural resources and the quality of the environment, the attitudes of the captains of industry are important.
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The Captains of Industry were originally formed as a small investigative task force for the IMHS (Institute for Metahuman Studies) funded by a consortium of corporate interests. This was back in the days before the DEO or Checkmate were created by government mandate.
Captains of Industry Since the time of its birth, the United States has been a democracy that was pieced together by the beliefs and ideas of different people. This has resulted in a system in which nothing can be classified as “black or white” and there are many areas of gray.