I am familiar with the term SocialDarwinism, as I am familiar with Andrew Carnegie's views on using whatever wealth one acquires for philanthropic purposes. The latter is summarized in the article you referenced; the former has nothing to do with it.
Social Darwinism is, at best, a bastardization of Charles Darwin's theories of human evolution which purports to validate scientific racism, but scientific racism is nothing new. Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the words, "all men are created equal" was a strong believer in the inherent inferiority of black people, a claim which he attempted to validate using scientific "evidence."
In striking contrast, Carnegie (in the very essay that you referenced) stated:
In sum, Andrew Carnegie did not believe in the dubious virtues of scientific racism, or in the perpetuation of wealth in the landed class, going so far as to say, "I would as soon leave to my son a curse as the almighty dollar." Rather, Carnegie believed that wealthy capitalists had a duty to use their wealth to help those less fortunate than themselves. -- DavidPrenatt
What about those souls (I suspect they're out there somewhere) who don't believe in any theory of racial superiority but do believe in "survival of the fittest". Perhaps they believe in some other-than-genetic fitness. Are they social darwinist or something else? Anyone think they'd be something more along the lines of CompassionateConservatism??
Right or wrong, the concept of "survival of the fittest" has been inextricably linked with genetics by the advocates of SocialDarwinism. The idea of linking "survival of the fittest" to non-genetic factors ignores the fact that nepotism and racial bigotry are inextricably linked to genetic factors. The success of the rare individual who belongs to an oppressed social class but is able to "pass" for being a member of the ruling social class demonstrates that genetics would be irrelevant if it were not accompanied by superficial external markers. In other words, genetic "superiority" is a reified concept that is the result of bigotry. -- DavidPrenatt
Having arrived here by link about class (and not being American), I don't find much here that contributes to my concept of a class war. Survival of the genes of the fittest has something to do with it, I suppose. But evolution deals with the species concept, doesn't it? Remind me of the criterion for a species - something to do with couples being able to produce fertile offspring? As as surrogate for dealing with clusters of genomes?
Since 'survival of the fittest' is Herbert Spencer anyway, and laissez-faire capitalism isn't eugenic theory (though some people may find it equally detestable), I feel there are enough straw men here to constitute a fire hazard.
See WikiPedia:Social_Darwinism for more.