- British scientist who studied plants and animals in their natural habitats. From doing this he discovered that those that adapt the best are the ones that survive.The members who are less adapted to their environment gradually die out. This process is known as Natural Selection.
- Darwinism was applied to society and business, known as Social Darwinism.
- Supporters of social Darwinism believed that "survival of the fittest" applied to society as well as nature.
- Embraced by many american businessmen, as they felt that it would show their superiority.
- Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Applied Darwinism to human development, arguing that wealth and power gave distinct advantages and believed that mankind benefited from intense competition. Very popular among american capitalists.
- William Graham Sumner (1840-1910): Believed that the economy was a natural event and that only the strong would thrive. He thought that all government intervention was futile. This is based upon the laissez faire doctrine.
- Laissez faire is french for "to let do" and advocates that the economy will function best when individual businesses are not regulated by the government.
- "Competitive commerce exalts selfishness to the dignity of a moral principle. It pits men against one another in a gladiatorial game in which there is no mercy and in which the combatants finally strew the arena. ...If the rich had only what they earned, and the poor had all that they earned, ... life would be more sane." - Walter Rauschenbush, 1908.
- A modern day example of social Darwinism would be Bill Gates, he held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Microsoft and held 6.4% of the company's stock, a whopping 78.5 billion dollars as of January 2014. The strong survive. Gates is one of the best known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution (desktops and laptops for common home use).