Real Lessons from Darwin
In "Darwin's Deadly Legacy," the author argues that evolution was the reason for the genocides and demicides of 20th century. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Anyone who has actual understanding of evolution knows that evolution is based on mutation, and that differences that crop up among specimen are the source of all richness of life. Anyone who has actual understanding of evolution also knows that life continues through ecosystemic balance among different species, all of which have adapted for the ecosystem and are necessary therefor. The two great lessons from evolution are therefore diversity and coexistence. Any ideology that militates against diversity, that tries to wipe out ethnic groups, that claims one race as being superior and all else as inferior, that destroys individuality and forces similitude, that wants to do away with "freaks" or "sociopaths" or "deviants," is a betrayal of evolution and its true lessons.
"Social Darwinism" that claimed that the culture that's best in war is superior and deserves to dominate, Nazism that claimed that Aryan race was superior race meant to rule the world, personality psychology that wants to do away with anyone who has a different idea than the time and the place, and similar abortions of ideologies, thoroughly misconstrue evolution. True understanding of evolution is diversity and coexistence, not malignant narcissism that seeks to wipe out everything other than itself.
Another major lesson of evolution is that there are many ways to get things done rightly. The tigers, the reindeer, the insects, the plants, and other forms of life, all are different adaptations, and all of them work. This refutes the Communist belief that Communism is the only way of getting things done rightly, as much as it refutes those in capitalism who think that capitalism is the only functional and ethical way.
Nowhere in evolution is there conceived such a thing as "the master race"or a superior culture. Nowhere in evolution do we see there being a single right way of life. What we see is different ways of getting things done, from which humans stand to learn. In nature, we see just about everything: Competition, collaboration, self-interest, altruism, lone-wolf approach, teamwork, patriarchy, matriarchy, and a huge variety of functional forms that are functional through different mechanism. True interpretation of evolution sees all that and respects it. The brutalist ideologies such as Social Darwinism, Nazism, Stalinism, and personality psychology, are not Darwin's legacy; they are legacy of ignorance and deception by those who would use anything and misconstrue everything toward that end.
As for Communism, it is not based on Darwin; it's based on Marxism. Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848; Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species in 1859. And while Marxian interpretation of human nature is being that to benefit the collective, while that of capitalism is self-interest, evolution shows that both are part of nature, and both would be found in people now and at any other time.
The fact that both are part of nature, means that both will be found in one or another form, anywhere, with differences in degrees among individuals, places and times. In places that have forbidden one or the other, the forbidden aspect will manifest itself sideways - typically in twisted, destructive ways. Thus, in places that have forbidden altruism or benefit toward humanity - such as for example America of 1980s - the other-interest manifested in intellectual, spiritual and interpersonal oppression that aggressively demanded to turn people at all levels into embodiments of the Reagan ethic and forbade all other possibilities under claims of them being commie or loser or dangerous or pathological or anti-American. And in places that have forbidden self-interest, the self-interest will manifest in corruption - as it did, for example, in the case of Soviet bureaucrats and black-marketeers who served their forbidden self-interest in corrupt and murderous ways under the lie of serving the state. For there to be complete, healthy humanity - for the benefit of people at both individual and collective levels - both of these directions - each of them part of humanity's evolutionary makeup - have to be acknowledged, accepted, and tapped into. And it is only through this that not only the fullness of human nature can be served, but also be able to produce what it has to offer the world - for humanity to supply, that is, what it is capable of supplying, and for its demands at all levels to be met through this supply.
If there are any existing belief structures that are supported by evolution, it is Buddhism that believes all life to be sacred; Wiccan and Native American spirituality that value the planet and what lives on it; environmentalism that recognizes the irreplaceable quality of the natural treasures; and those who see human potential and want to see it produce for humanity. The latter is the case both for people in capitalism and in socialism, each of whom understand half the picture - the first, self-interest; the second, humanity-interest - and see each other as hostile when they are in fact complementary in what they describe. What is not supported by evolution is the belief that life is evil and that it should be destroyed, both inside people and in the environment. This is the true reason for opposition of Islam and Christianity to evolution. Given the underlying beliefs, it can very well be said that life-affirming ethic of evolution is far superior in its principles and its honesty to the ethic of necrophilic apocalyptic creeds that claim to have "family values" as they aim for a destruction of all life on Earth before the children being born now have learned how to read.