In the Gilded Age of the late 19th century in America, there were prevailing philosophies that influenced the growth of economic concentration and social conservatism and justified them.
The first was the “Gospel of Wealth”, published by steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie, that argued that America should honor and respect the great capitalists, despite the reality that the growth of monopoly capitalism was curbing small business opportunities, promoting the exploitation of working people, and providing lack of competition in pricing of products for consumers. Instead, the great capitalists should be applauded and respected for their “great” contributions to America!
Social Darwinism, based on a distortion of the ideas of Charles Darwin and Adam Smith, was a philosophy based on the writings of British writer Herbert Spencer and American sociologist William Graham Sumner, justifying the “laissez faire” viewpoint of Adam Smith on economics, and applying it to society regarding the struggle for survival and survival of the fittest of Charles Darwin in his evolutionary theory. So therefore, government should NOT intervene to give aid and support to the poor, the sick, the disadvantaged, and instead let nature take its course, as that would advance society, eliminating the weak in society through natural causes.
What Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan offer is a return to the Gospel of Wealth and Social Darwinism.
The question is whether we are ready to reverse 140 years of history and revert to the 19th century in the 21st century, and leave tens of millions of Americans behind as we surge forward on the growth of monopoly capitalism and concentration of wealth to a level not even seen in the Gilded Age!