George william Foote

Said many lofty things and I agree with him wholeheartedly. England owes him an apology for jailing him for freedom of speech.

But he is also evidence that intelligent men can be grossly mistaken. In his response to Booth, he of the Salvation Army, he wrote and I agree that people in jail should be treated with kindness that indeed many are not psychopaths & may not be a threat to society if rehabilitated. Where i disagree with him is in saying the weak, the ‘unfit’ should not be supported & this is based on the natural selection- let the fit survive. I think this was a gross misunderstanding of evolution on his part.

He writes, for example

He is not aware that thousands of men and women are born in every generation who are behind the age. They are types of a vanished order of mankind, relics of antecedent stages of culture. Natural selection is always eliminating them, and general Booth proposes to cuddle them, to surround them with artificial circumstances, and give them a better chance. He does not see that most of them, however propped up by the more energetic and independent, will always bear the stamp of unfitness; nor does he see that he will enable them to beget and rear a more numerous offspring of the same character.

Salvation syrup by Foote

He believes there are congenital criminals and prostitutes among other things.

I am also inclined to disagree with Booth when he writes

No change in circumstances, no revolution in social conditions, can possibly transform the nature of man

General Booth

It appears to me these gentlemen misunderstood Darwin or were among the Ryan’s of the 19th century. Or am I missing something as Mike is won’t to say?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

10 thoughts on “George william Foote

  1. Barry says:

    I suppose it depends on what Booth meant by “the nature of man”. Was he referring to individuals or was he referring to the species known as Homo Sapiens. I’m quite convinced as individuals, we can and do change our nature for a multitude of reasons. Cultures and social groupings can also change, albeit at a slower pace over generations. As to the nature of our species, evolutionary changes occur too slowly for us to recognise and for practical purposes can be considered unchangeable. Our tendency to violence for example can be minimised through social/cultural conditioning, but I doubt it can be eliminated. In this respect are we any different from other animals?

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      He wasn’t referring to the species but to the individual. That nothing can be done to alter their circumstances. Which obviously is not the case as we have evidence of people change when their circumstances changed or their environment changed .


  2. Man, I likes this guy! I’d hire him as my campaign manager if he were around to help me push my position that the poor, disabled, weak, and elderly should be gassed and cremated. Hell, they’re weak and lazy! Evolution agrees with me! Let’s get rid of ’em all! (BTW, I agree with you, Mak. I think this dude did not really understand evolutionary theory.)


  3. basenjibrian says:

    Given the realities that modern man have created (climate change, etc..), Foote also presumes too much that modern civilization is an “advancement”. Plus, he misreads evolutionary theory in assuming that evolution IS always an advancement and not merely (no value judgment) an adjustment to circumstances.


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