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By Peter Singer

In A Darwinian Left, Peter Singer argues that the political left has misunderstood Darwinian principles and accordingly been adversarial to the applying of Darwinian considering to politics. these at the political left who search a extra egalitarian society may still as a substitute include evolutionary rules and easy methods to use evolutionary pondering to be able to construct the type of cooperative society sought.

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Additional info for A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation

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So the fact that nineteenth-century Darwinism was more congenial to the right than the left is due, at least in part, to the limitations of Darwinian thinking in that period. There was one great exception to the statement that the left accepted the 'nature red in tooth and claw' view of the struggle for existence. The geographer, naturalist and anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin argued in his book Mutual Aid that Darwinists (though not always Darwin himself) had overlooked cooperation between animals of the same species as a factor in evolution.

In his Dialectics of Nature, Engels wrote: 23 The most that the animal can achieve is to collect; man produces, he prepares the means of life in the widest sense of the words, which, without him, nature would not have produced. This makes impossible any immediate transference of the laws of life in animal societies to human ones. The distinction Engels draws between humans and animals is dubious - fungus-growing ants, for example, grow and eat specialised fungi that would not have existed without their activity.

This may be done by means of tax concessions, subsidies or direct employment for socially useful work, depending on what will work better to bring those on the margins of society back into the mainstream. 53 CHAPTER 4 From Cooperation to Altruism? The puzzle of the evolution of altruism A society that fosters cooperation can take the left some distance towards its goals. But would a Darwinian left really have to accept Hardin's Cardinal Rule that we should never ask people to act against their own selfinterest?

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