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->''"It's really simple. You bring two sides together. They fight. A lot of them die. But those who survive are stronger, faster and better."''
-->-- '''Justin''', ''Series/BabylonFive''

Laconic/TheSocialDarwinist is someone who believes that the Darwinist theory of evolution -- i.e. "survival of the fittest" to oversimplify it -- should be applied to people, and sometimes entire societies or nations. To the Social Darwinist, all life is a struggle for survival in which the strongest naturally prosper at the expense of the weak -- and it is ''[[MightMakesRight right]]'', and ''natural'' that they should do so, because that's just the way things are, and/or natural law is AboveGoodAndEvil. Such characters rarely concede that their chances for survival may have started higher than others due to reasons such as inherited wealth or social prestige. They typically state that WeHaveBecomeComplacent and stupid, and want to remove weakness and stupidity from society. It may seem to some that because humans aren't currently having wars/disaster and humans aren't endangered as a species that evolution in humans has ceased altogether.

If they do talk about evolution, they are very likely to talk about EvolutionaryLevels and GoalOrientedEvolution rather than Darwin's actual theory (which was more of a pass-fail concept.)

Fictional Social Darwinists generally come in five major flavors:
* '''The Straw Meritocrat:''' Basically, a NietzscheWannabe without the overt craziness. This first type believes in Social Darwinism, which misinterprets the idea of evolution and natural selection and holds that people who rise to the top in ''society'', by whatever means, are automatically "superior" - even going so far as to [[AmbitionIsEvil praise the evils of over-ambitiousness]] and [[NiceGuysFinishLast condemn kind behavior]]. Frequently this will be held even in settings where the people in charge are clearly getting there through {{Nepotism}}, or otherwise as a result of luck and privilege. Despite it being nothing more than a ThemeParkVersion, this philosophy is still frequently held by both fictional characters and a few RealLife 'successful' people.
* '''The [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazi By Any Other Name]]:''' The second type is a racist or [[FantasticRacism speciesist]] who believes that their race is a MasterRace, and by extension, the only one fit to live and [[SuperBreedingProgram reproduce]] in this world, and uses this belief as a justification for subjugating, enslaving or just plain [[AbsoluteXenophobe getting rid]] of those that they consider "inferior" (as the RealLife {{Nazi}}s did). ScaryDogmaticAliens are very likely to have this mindset, as is any society [[ANaziByAnyOtherName modeled upon the Nazis]]. Occasionally also held by [[WhatMeasureIsANonSuper superheroes]].
* '''The EvilutionaryBiologist:''' The third type is the EvilutionaryBiologist or anyone who has [[WellIntentionedExtremist mistaken ideas]] about how evolution works "[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans for the good of the species]]," and in order to help it out or not "get in its way," anyone with a birth defect or who is in any other way "weak" in this villain's eyes [[KillThePoor deserves to die]] to keep the gene pool strong. Many such characters [[DesignerBabies hope to create]] the {{Transhuman}} UltimateLifeForm. This type is also what ThoseWackyNazis had in mind with Aktion T-4.
* '''The [[JerkJustifications Jerk Justifier]]:''' The fourth type is simply [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] and uses Social Darwinism as just a justification for [[{{Jerkass}} sociopathic]] behavior. This character may not actually believe it and may not even care, but finds Social Darwinism to be a convenient justification or excuse for the way they were going to behave anyway. Often overlaps with StrawHypocrite - especially if he's a coward who'll immediately resort to "un-Darwinist" cheating if he's ever exposed as inferior himself.
* '''The Struggler:''' The fifth type believe that competition, suffering and struggle makes the individual, and possibly a society (as a whole), superior. They tend to believe in EvilVirtues like cunning, ruthlessness, opportunism and the ability to endure and survive by any means necessary, and tend to have a cynical view of the world as a hard, harsh place and that HobbesWasRight; they may also / instead suffer from EvilCannotComprehendGood and thus undervalue non-Social Darwinist virtues like kindness or pacifism. ARealManIsAKiller logic often falls into this category as does WarIsGlorious. ThoseWackyNazis held to this view as well. Differ from the first in that they don't necessarily believe that those at the top always deserve it; they tend to take a MightMakesRight view of things, and the most sincere of this kind do not believe the struggle ever ends.

If the Social Darwinist doesn't suffer a KarmicDeath, the heroes "disprove" his might-makes-right philosophy by demonstrating the ThePowerOfFriendship[[note]]In fact, actual evolutionary scientists posit ThePowerOfFriendship and general co-operation as the best survival strategy for most people most of the time, not to mention an evolutionary strategy that the human species specifically evolved to exploit[[/note]]: either by ganging up and beating the crap out of him and his cronies, or by the leader of the group (often the AllLovingHero) doing it himself while repeatedly driving home that he's fighting for his friends. A particularly profound way this to happen is to have the character beaten by a character who is either a visible minority the Social Darwinist considers inferior or has a glaring [[DisabilitySuperpower physical or mental handicaps]].

More sympathetic Social Darwinists (i.e. if they aren't hypocrites) will often begin to [[DefeatMeansRespect respect the heroes]] after their defeat; they may turn into a WorthyOpponent or even become a NobleBigot as they struggle with their beliefs and begrudgingly admit that a group they had considered inferior does in fact have worthy people among them. Their beliefs might be a TragicFlaw if they were drilled into them from a young age or they [[HadToBeSharp actually had to live in such a place were their views are justified]].

Compare EvilutionaryBiologist, EvilEvolves, and KillThePoor and SlobsVersusSnobs. Sometimes overlaps with [[Creator/AynRand Objectivism]] and the "{{Ubermensch}}" concept. There's a bit of this trope in the SatisfiedStreetRat. Likewise, characters with a DarwinistDesire are usually only interested in applying social Darwinism on themselves and their offspring rather than imposing it on society, though both tropes can overlap in the same character. Compare and contrast LivingIsMoreThanSurviving - Social Darwinist will variably put either survival or quality of life on top of others.

Note that CharlesDarwin himself would not be amused by all these people and the way they interpreted his works; he proposed nothing of the sort. (And while Darwin ''did'' believe that the Caucasian race had evolved further than other races, his racism was based not on arrogance or sociopathy; [[ScienceMarchesOn it was simply where the conclusions of his research led him]].) You never see a social Darwinist treating societies in the same way a real Darwinist treats species: Darwinists are interested in maintaining biodiversity, and Darwinism is a ''description'' of the way species work, not a ''prescription'' for which species should live or die. See AppealToNature for the fallacy of using "nature" to prescribe any behaviour (moral, immoral or not), and also see [[Analysis/TheSocialDarwinist the Analysis page for this trope]] for more information on that. This did not stop Social Darwinism from becoming a fairly mainstream philosophy from the Victorian era to WWII, when it became [[GodwinsLaw associated with the Nazis]]; this association contributed greatly to its loss of popularity. However, the emergence of [[CulturePolice culture war politics]] in the late 20th century appears to have won new adherents to the philosophy.

Contrast UnderdogsAlwaysWin, which takes this concept and flips it completely on its head.

A final note: despite the similarity in spelling, this trope has nothing to do with Socialism. Part of the problem comes from conflating socialism with atheism (the two do not always go together), and then reasoning that someone who does not believe in God (and, therefore, disavows the possibility of the existence of the soul) takes a crudely biological view of humanity, seeing them as animals with an instinct to dominate one another. But the fact is that the socialist's [[WeAreStrugglingTogether concern for and solidarity with all of humankind]] rules out - at least in theory - the prospect of him or her becoming so cynical, selfish and cruel.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* [[TookALevelInJerkass After taking a level in jerkass]] and pursuing apostles on his [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge quest for revenge]], Guts in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' adopts this as his philosophy, saying that people who are too weak to survive in the CrapsackWorld that they live in deserve to die.
* ''Manga/CodeBreaker'': Though not yet outright stated, [[spoiler: Ogami's brother]] implies this is [[TerroristsWithoutACause his group's ideal]] when he wonders why Ogami is protecting an ordinary (?) human.
* Emperor Charles zi Britannia in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has this philosophy -- though it applies at its most ruthless to his children, as if any are weak, they deserve to die. The protagonist, a deposed prince of the empire, directly opposes this attitude as it's what cost him his mother and crippled his little sister -- while Charles did nothing. [[spoiler:Subverted, as this was all a facade by the emperor himself.]]
** [[spoiler:Not really; it's more that he tries to use the notion of MightMakesRight to justify self-interest (in his mind, everything's alright as long as he wins). Lelouch calls him out on it in episode 21 of R2 when he points out that his parents wouldn't have cared if their plan did fail and they lost their children [[KilledOffForReal for real]], remarking that they only wanted to have an excuse to feel proud of themselves for having kept their family.]]
*** It may not seem so simple, but Charles likely does perceive himself to be at the top of society, and he does argue against Lelouch that, like him, he follows the mentality that the ends justify the means, but they differ in that Lelouch's goal is for the people of the world to care about each other (so that they wouldn't take advantage of each other again), whereas Charles acts for himself, and [[spoiler:Suzaku later opposes him for taking advantage of other people just like (if not moreso than) Lelouch when those with power should protect those incapable of acting, recognizing that Britannian society isn't such an ideal world]].
* Vicious of ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' shows shades of this, particularly in his attitude towards those who lose their ruthless side. Notably, he assassinates his former {{Mentor}} Mao Yenrai for attempting to make peace with another [[TheSyndicate Syndicate]], (then dismissively describes him as "a beast who lost his fangs") denounces the Elders of the Red Dragon as "corpses that can't fight," and demands to know why Spike Spiegel, his personal and romantic rival, survived his exile if he's no longer as cold-blooded and ruthless as Vicious.
* In ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'', Amber's organization "Evening Primrose" is sort of the Contractor [[LaResistance Resistance movement]], and while it's not clear to what extent Amber herself has this viewpoint, her [[{{yandere}} obsessive]] follower Maki definitely does, and in one scene, he actually refers to Contractors as something like a [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything "master race"]]. The {{interquel}} villain Harvest is also an insane social darwinist, and has several lines about "the next stage in evolution".
* Light Yagami in ''Manga/DeathNote'' develops from a WellIntentionedExtremist into this trope, and he [[VillainProtagonist happens to be the protagonist]]. He believes that by using the Death Note to pick off criminals and the unpleasant, he can make the world consist of good people only. As he puts it, if Kira (his mass-murdering alter ego) is caught, then he's evil; if he wins and rules the world, he's righteous.
* Vegeta from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' believes the Saiyan race is the most powerful in the universe and that Earthlings are weak and inferior to them. His transition to Majin Vegeta is largely because this belief, saying (in the English dub) "It's survival of the fittest. The strong will survive, and the weak shall perish!" Even Goku pointing out that during their battle they may have inadvertently revived Majin Buu is dismissed by Vegeta, saying (though he hardly believes it himself) that the two of them have evolved far beyond even Kaioshin's expectations to the point that Majin Buu is not a concern anymore.
* Every bad guy in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' is either this or just a raving psycho. It's a MadMax style world after all.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** There are [[BigBad Father and his Homunculi]], and [[SociopathicSoldier Kimblee]], who is an ideological and philosophical Social Darwinist. He doesn't believe that weak people should be automatically killed (though he ''does'' enjoy blowing up people regardless of how helpless they are, but he believes violence is the only way to solve philosophical disputes; whoever is alive at the end of the day was right.
** There are also non-villain examples. Olivier Mira Armstrong is [[FourStarBadAss General Badass]] and leads the Briggs fortress border troops, who are the most BadAss soldiers in all Amestris. Her credo is "survival of the fittest", which she applied to everyone, including ''herself''.
-->"Don't you get it? My men aren't going to come and rescue me. Because if I die here, I'm not worthy to lead them anyway."
* The Jester a.k.a. Kaizan Doushi in the anime series ''Anime/{{Grenadier}}''.
* Lord Fezearl Ezelcant from ''GundamAGE'' believes that the only way to create a perfect world [[spoiler:is to wipe out the weak. It doesn't matter to Ezelcant if you're caught in the middle of an attack on a Federation colony, suffering from the overwhelming poverty within Vagan or dying from diseases due to Mars Ray exposure. If you do not have the will to survive and the willpower to do ANYTHING to have the means to do so, you don't belong in his utopia and you deserve to die. What makes this hilarious is that he states that he thinks peaceful and kindhearted people will come out of this, rather than hardened survivors. Thus proving that Social Darwinists don't always understand the very science they're putting their faith in.]]
* The Leader of the PLANTS from ''GundamSEED'', Chairman Patrick Zala, actively believes that Coordinators, genetically modified humans, are a different species from Natural-born humans. This leads him to actively pursue the death of every single Natural on the planet Earth. (His aggression towards Naturals likely stemmed from [[spoiler:his wife being killed in an event before the series by the Earth Alliance, who was not pleased that Coordinators had been able to grow their own food]].)
* Rudolf von Goldenbaum from ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' firmly believes in this trope. One of the most infamous laws he passed after he established the Galactic Empire was the so-called "Inferior Genes Exclusion Law", which essentially involved the killing of people deemed to possess "inferior genes".
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': TheDragon Baron Ashura is a Jerkass Justifier who uses the "survival of the fitest" like an excuse/justification to make whatever he wants. In a story arc of the Gosaku Ota manga alternate continuity Baron Ashura manages kidnapping Kouji and tries to talking Kouji in joining him (or her. It. Whatever). When Kouji retorts he has no interest in becoming a criminal, Ashura goes in a WhatIsEvil MightMakesRight angry rant, uttering that in the nature the weak succumbs to the will of the strong and the strong survives. That is how the world always did, does and will work, and "good", "bad", "peace", "justice"... are meaningless, empty words human beings came up with because they are too coward to accept reality and too weak to protect themselves.
* [[TheEvilPrince Gihren Zabi]] of ''MobileSuitGundam''. He believes that the strong should rule and the weak should simply get out of the way. This idea governs most of his actions throughout the show, and lead to his ultimately [[SelfMadeOrphan assassinating]] his father and seizing control of Zeon for himself.
* Tomonori Komori from ''{{Narutaru}}'' is a sociopathic teenager who finds the modern world overly complicated, and so he intends to use his {{Mon}} to kill the educated and the sickly, effectively turning things back to the Stone Age, to create what he claims would be a healthy, pure society. [[spoiler:Ironically, it's revealed some time after his death that he had a sickly mother he was taking care of, and that he wasn't the healthiest of boys himself. He must've been bitter]].
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has Captain Morgan, who seems to think that the fact he struggled to earn his rank (never mind that part of his promotion came as a patsy in someone else's scheme) gives him the right to kill anyone who questions his orders or opposes his methods; and Arlong the fishman, who thinks the physically superior fishmen should rule over the weak and puny humans.
** To be fair to Morgan, he never figured out that he was a patsy and presumably having his arm and jaw cut off made him quite a grumpy person. And while it doesn't justify his actions, Arlong was of victim of racism since he was a child. These guys don't hold a light to the Celestial Dragons, who basically run around, getting away with whatever they please because they can. Whatever they please includes murder, slavery, and setting the poor district of towns on fire before they arrive anywhere. This trope is best shown with how rich families reacted to the destruction of the poor district: "It's their own fault, they shouldn't have been born poor."
* The philosophy of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin's'' BigBad Makoto Shishio is that "the flesh of the weak is the food of the strong" -- and he drives his point home by [[ImAHumanitarian taking a bite out of the hero]]. He is inevitably defeated, but afterwards, Kenshin observes that his victory has not truly proven anything -- and that, if the one in the right is merely the strongest warrior, then Shishio was correct all along...
* In ''SaintBeast'', Zeus believes that angels who are not "beautiful and strong" are not fit to serve him.
* Inverted in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', where [[spoiler:both Lordgenome and the Anti-Spirals purposefully try to force the human race not to evolve too much, and it is the ''heroes'' who ascribe to a more idealistic combination of [[EvolutionaryLevels Darwinism (with Spiral Energy being the power behind evolution)]] and ThePowerOfFriendship.]]
* Esdeath in ''Manga/AkameGaKill''. It's only natural for the weak to perish, after all. To her, the feelings of the "weak" are utterly incomprehensible and absurd.
* ''BlackButler'': Sebastian frequently sneers at [[FantasticRacism humanity's weakness, vulgarity and paradoxically self-destructive behavior]]. Seeing [[BornLucky being born a demon]] [[SuperiorSpecies automatically makes him]] to be TheAce and TheSociopath, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood it makes]] [[TheProudElite some sense]].
** From the anime, we also get a different flavor in [[spoiler: Angela and Ash]]. Contrasting Sebastian, [[spoiler: s/he]] scorns humanity's "impurity" and wasteful negativity, and tries to "[[ANaziByAnyOtherName cleanse the unfruitful, unnecessary and unwanted]]" from the Earth. [[KillItWithFire With fire]].
* ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'' is a somewhat strange example of the trope, due to the shifting of roles between the Japanese and English versions of the film. Both Mew and Mewtwo have shades of this in the Japanese version, though it is Mew, the ''hero'', that is more of a Darwinist; in fact, it's Mew that offers the suggestion that the two sides fight without their abilities. In the English version, Mew shows none of these traits, leaving Mewtwo as the sole Darwinist.
* Demon of ''Manga/DigimonVTamer01'', who holds the contradictory views that monsters should live by instinct alone and that it is a monster's duty to destroy weaker creatures wherever they can be found, regardless of how impractical this is. He's above no methods in his pursuit of the latter, including [[StrawHypocrite lying about his motivations]] and has gone so far as to find ways to destroy other creatures out of his reach who had virtually no effect on his life to no benefit to himself whatsoever [[FeelingOppressedByTheirExistence simply because he knew they existed]].
* Several superpowered characters living in Academy City in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' believe the powerful rule and the weak are just fodder and playthings for them. [[spoiler: Shizuri Mugino used to be like this, but after her HeelFaceTurn, she's done a full 180 turn in attitude. Having grown to love and respect Shiage Hamazura, the BadassNormal who managed to defeat her, she learns about how Academy City allocates funds to people with promising powers while denying them to people with weak powers or none (like Shiage), assuming they are worthless. Mugino gets angry and declares that Shiage may not have any powers but he is definitely not worthless.]]
* In ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'', Corset says something along these lines when he's attempting to unleash HellOnEarth.
* In ''LightNovel/MadanNoOuToVanadis'', Duke Thenardier, one of the [[spoiler: main antagonists of the first five volumes]], is this due to his upbringing by his father. He killed all of his siblings to rise to power, and holds no sympathy for anyone he considers weak besides his son, which is why he decides [[spoiler: to raze Alsace to the ground in Volume 1]] and levies ridiculously high taxes on anyone he considers useless or weak.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': This is Kyoko's philosophy and she sees magical girls as the apex predator. Within magical girls, a weaker one must yield their territory to a stronger one or die.
* In ''Manga/AnimalLand'', Jyu completely believes in the "survival of the fittest" notion wherein strong animals prey on and can do anything towards weaker animals. He is totally against anything that goes against this notion, such as animals working together, as he sees it as a lie to the natural order of things.
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'''s Satsuki Kiryuuin holds to the mantra of survival of the fittest so strongly that she literally decides her AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil by a "Naturals Election", which is held exactly as you'd think it would be.
-->'''Satsuki:''' All students have the right to attack all other students! Secret meetings, scheming, backstabbing, anything goes! Seven days from now, reach the schoolyard alive, and then use your strength to lay claim on your social standing once again!
* [[EvilTeacher Koichi Shidou]] from ''Anime/HighschoolOfTheDead'', when he [[KickTheDog kicks a student off a bus after he sprains his ankle, saying that the weak don't deserve to live in this world.]]
* Satyajit Shyamalan from ''[[BirdyTheMighty Birdy the Mighty: Decode]]'' is one, and believes that the next step on humanity's evolutionary path is to [[spoiler: use a super weapon to wipe out all of humanity but those he considers most worthy]]. His main criteria for determining those superior is [[SoleSurvivor whether they, like himself, had survived a major war or disaster that would lead to mass casualties]].
* In ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'', Dr. Genus was, even as a child, disgusted by the weakness of man. His goal is to take over the world and replace the human race with his army of genetically engineered monsters. He gets really shocked when he discovers [[TheHero Saitama's]] incredible power came from training and not genetics or anything of the sort.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/JackChick assumes that this is what the Theory of Evolution teaches.
* There are several such characters in the ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' works:
** {{Magneto}} has some moments of social darwinism, calling mutants ''Homo sapiens superior'' (or the even less accurate ''Homo superior'', implying mutants are a separate species entirely). What makes his views especially ironic is the fact that it was born out of the persecution he suffered at the hands of the Nazis.
** ComicBook/{{Apocalypse}} goes farther; besides vaunting the superiority of mutants, he believes in encouraging conflict to weed out the weak. Meanwhile, he isn't concerned for his own safety, assuming that he is the [[EvolutionaryLevels pinnacle of evolution]]. There are times, both in the main MarvelUniverse and alternate timelines, when Apocalypse gets defeated and he's asked what makes ''him'' fit to survive. Sometimes, he seems entirely willing to die due to having been proved "unfit" under his own philosophy. [[StatusQuoIsGod It never lasts, because he's one of the X-Men's iconic villains so he has to come back to face them again]].
** Mr. Sinister originated as a 19th-century eugenicist.
** Professor Xavier in ''X-Men Noir'' is an actual psychiatrist, and as such his spin on this is unique: he believes sociopaths are the next stage in human behavioral evolution. Chief of Detectives Eric Magnus, meanwhile, believes the criminal element is hereditary and genetic -- and has to be contained or eliminated for the good of society. Emma Frost, an old student of Xavier's, combines the two ideas as warden at Genosha Bay, but also feels sociopathy is communicable.
* The ComicBook/RedSkull abandoned Nazism, but he still believes in social Darwinism.
* Venus Bluegenes in ''RogueTrooper'' fits this trope in her initial appearance. She believes that [=GIs=] are inherently superior to humans, and [[spoiler:killed the rest of her crew as she thought them inferior.]]
* [[spoiler: Niles Caulder]] turns out to be this at the end of Creator/GrantMorrison's ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'' run. In fact, it's revealed at the end that he's planning a giant worldwide cataclysm that will enable the human race to emerge stronger as a result.
* The Norwegian cult comic ''The Great Four: When the Dead Awaken'' features a social darwinist BigBad who is planning to start a new world war using {{steampunk}} gasoline technology. When the heroes arrive to stop him, he offers them an ultimatum: If he defeats them, [[DefeatMeansFriendship they will join him in his conquest]]. If they defeat him, he has a self-destruct ready to destroy his SupervillainLair and will let them pull the switch, because if he was weak enough to be defeated his works weren't worth anything anyway. [[spoiler:He actually seems content with losing until the heroes decide to leave the lair intact so his [[ItMakesSenseInContext gasoline-driven undead minions]] can continue to 'live'.]]
* In the ComicBook/{{New 52}}, the villain Harvest collects superpowered teens and forces them to fight each other to the death in an event he calls "The Culling", so that he can determine the strongest and rule over the survivors, who become his Ravagers. While Harvest is impressed by ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'s power, he declares him a failure because of he will not kill his defeated foes. Later it's revealed that his real motivation is FantasticRacism. He hates metahumans in general [[spoiler:because his son was killed by a metahuman.]]
* Superman villain Manchester Black overlaps this with MightMakesRight. He and his group are the world's most powerful super-humans, so they should naturally have authority over the rest of mankind and are able to force them to obey their own morals and laws. [[spoiler: Superman twists this trope around by not only being stronger than Black, but by demonstrating why putting this theory into practice is a VERY bad idea.]]
* Bigby of ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' has shades of this. In "Werewolves of the Heartland", it's suggested he has less of an issue with the fact that werewolves are attacking, hunting and eating humans, and more the "cowardly", half-assed way they go about it. A core tenet of his personal philosophy is that it's right to [[DisproportionateRetribution return any attack on either yourself or the people close to you ten-fold]], making your enemies so terrified of a counterattack that they fear you into leaving you alone, citing Israel's bombing of civilian targets as an example. Don't bother asking - being the TheBigBadWolf, Bigby is the source of ''a lot'' of ValuesDissonance.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/MegamiNoHanabira'' has the Chaos representative for the story, Shusui Naito. Naito holds a variation of the meritocratic sort: while he believes that the ones on top deserve to rule, the ones ''presently ruling'' are an exception. Society, according to Naito, has created a self-perpetuating system that is a farce of a meritocracy, where people get in because of arbitrary things like inherited wealth, skin color, gender, or otherwise, and otherwise-deserving people never get the chance to shine. While the man might have a point, it's hard to take his side [[WellIntentionedExtremist when his fix for the problem]] is to unleash the Demon Summoning Program to '''everyone''' and ignite what amounts to the mother of all race/class wars.
* In a contrasting portrayal when [[GaiasRevenge compared to the usual]], in the Film/{{Avatar}} fanfic, ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6049921/1/ Children of Gaia]]'', '''Earth''' is portrayed as one, plus WellIntentionedExtremist, always working the evolution to benefit the strongest and don't even mind people mining her (a rather interesting subversion of GaiasLament). So, she gets really offended when she learns about how Eywa rules the Na'vi and actually agrees with humans on their policy over them.
* ''Fanfic/TheImmortalGame'' has both [[BigBad Titan]] and his [[TheDragon Dragon]], General Esteem, who both believe that power is the only thing that matters, and that only those with power have the right to rule.
* ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' has [[spoiler:Red Cyclone]] as a Racism Theorist; he wants to create a world where only the strong live while the weak are mercilessly slaughtered.
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' has Strife, AnthropomorphicPersonification of Natural Selection, a more realistic version of the Social Darwinist. She is a BloodKnight who has no intention of letting her prey escape, and she knows that she is far more powerful than any mortal, but she at least fights battles personally instead of wiping her foes out instantly, because she believes every being has the right to prove itself and fight for its survival.
* In ''FanFic/TheGreatSlaveKing'', the strong ruling the weak ends up becoming the Slave King's modus operandi.
* As befitting a WarGod, [[BigBad Ares]] from ''[[FanFic/JusticeLeagueOfEquestria The Princess of Themyscira]]'' believes in the strong ruling over the weak, which to him means gods directly lording over mortals.
* In [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10677407/1/Oblivion Oblivion]], the [[Manga/SoulEater Gorgon sisters']] father was this, and raised his daughters to believe that "those with power rise over those without, and crush them from above" and that "the weak cannot expect mercy or second chances." To this end, he and his wife [[ToughLove trained their children hard so that they will be strong enough to survive in the world when they reach adulthood.]] It's implied that he has a FreudianExcuse that gave him this outlook on life.
* In the ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' fic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10774837/1/Flashes-of-Light Flashes of Light]]'', Homura scorns her past self for being weak. Not coincidentally, this past self is also much saner than her.
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', King Sombra declares he will purge the Crystal Empire of the weak and useless.
* In ''Fanfic/HarmonyTheory'', Nightmare Umbra attacks people to force them to prove their strength and worthiness to survive by fighting back. She eventually judges the entire world to be unworthy and wants to drive the ponies to extinction.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Commander Rourke of Disney's ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' fits this to such an extent that he invokes Darwin by name:
-->'''Rourke''': Get off your soap box, Thatch. You've read Darwin. It's called 'natural selection'. We're just helping it along.
* In ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'', Sid, a (mostly) incompetent sloth outwits an (albeit also fairly incompetent) saber tooth cat. While repeatedly jumping on his victim Sid shouts: "[[PunctuatedPounding Survival! Of The! Fittest!]]" and finishes with: "I don't think so..."
* Kron from the Disney movie ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'' is implied to be something like this. He even lampshades this when the herd is fleeing from the carnosaurs.
-->'''Aladar''': (''Concerning the elders in the back'') But the others in the back! They'll never make it!
-->'''Kron''': Then they'll slow down the predators!
-->'''Aladar''': (''Outraged'') You can't sacrifice them like this!
* King, the leader of the Rogues and the BigBad of ''[[WesternAnimation/AlphaAndOmega Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure]]'', is a wolf who espouses such views. He is obsessed with the purity and strength of himself and his Rogues and is quick to mock any perceived weakness.
* Upon becoming a CorruptCorporateExecutive, the Once-ler in ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax'' adaptation adopts this mindset to [[JerkJustifications rationalize his actions.]] In a cut song titled "Biggering" he goes farther and compares his company to an animal that must ruthlessly fight for survival, regardless of what it destroys.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'', [[EnthrallingSiren The Dazzling's]] song "Let's Have A Battle (of the Bands)" encourages this mindset, with the lyrics saying things like it doesn't matter who you hurt in your journey to prove you are the best and that people should compete against each other instead of working together. In general, The Dazzlings spread this behavior through their MindControlMusic and HatePlague. It doesn't matter to them who wins; they are {{Emotion Eater}}s who feed on the negative emotions generated by the conflicts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The villain of the 1945 film ''Film/TheSpiralStaircase'' cites this as his reason for killing women with any sort of physical defect, such as the mute heroine:
--> "There is no room in this whole world for imperfection. What a pity my father didn't live to see me become strong, to see me dispose of the weak and imperfect of the world, whom he detested. He would have admired me for what I am going to do."
* In ''Film/WallStreet'', Gordon Gekko's philosophy is Social Darwinism of the economic kind. Several of his quotes are [[YouFailEconomicsForever "It's a Zero Sum game]], somebody wins, somebody loses" or "In my book you either do it right or you get eliminated". His entire "Greed is good" speech is of Social Darwinist nature. However, he only applies this trope to companies: weak people don't die, they just don't succeed in business, which is a fairly basic tenet of capitalism. Of course, he's [[{{Hypocrite}} more than willing to cheat to win]] if he can't succeed on pure talent (although, given his character, he'd probably just attribute that to his ''intellectual'' superiority).
* In ''Film/FirstKnight'', the villain Malagant is a firm believer in this, and cannot [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand]] his rival King Arthur's philosophy that it is the duty of the strong to help and protect the weak. He hypocritically calls Arthur a tyrant for trying to stop him from terrorizing the weak peasants.
* ''Film/{{Alien}}'':
-->'''Ash:''' You still don't know what you're dealing with, do you? [[UltimateLifeform Perfect organism]]. It's structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. \\
'''Lambert:''' You admire it. \\
'''Ash:''' I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
* In ''Film/Piranha3DD'', Creator/DavidHasselhoff, playing himself, refuses to help rescue people from the piranha-infested waters, saying he's letting natural selection chose the survivors.
* Hugo Drax in ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'', who planned to use a lethal nerve gas to wipe out all humans on earth and repopulate it with the ones he chose as superior beings.
* In ''Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInParis'', Claude gives a speech saying he hates institutions like hospitals and charities because their only purpose is to extend the lives of the weak, in turn weakening the human race as a whole. Combined with FantasticRacism, he also considers werewolves like himself to be superior to ordinary humans.
* A running theme throughout multiple stories in ''Film/CloudAtlas''. Hugo Weaving's character(s) echo the phrase "There's a natural order to things" in various contexts.
* Mentioned in the Holocaust docudrama ''Film/{{Conspiracy}}''. When Heydrich finishes the conference, he echoes the Nazi views on evolution as he [[EvilGloating gloats]] that the genocide of the Jews will "advance the human race to greater purity in a space of time so short Charles Darwin will be astonished". Or [[GeniusBonus he would be]]. [[EvilutionaryBiologist Evolution doesn't work that way]].
* Jordan Belfort and all of his underlings at Stratton Oakmont in ''Film/TheWolfOfWallStreet''. You're either rich or you're a loser with a miserable life.
* It's developed more in the ExpandedUniverse, but this is the ideology taken by the Sith of ''Franchise/StarWars'' fame. They believe that [[DespotismJustifiesTheMeans the strong]] have the right to control the weak ([[WhatMeasureIsANonBadass usually non-Force users,]]) and in their own order establish [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder a desire to replace one's master]] so that both sides will [[InevitableMutualBetrayal remain as strong as possible against one another]]. The latter is the main reasoning behind the RuleOfTwo: the apprentice will become stronger to usurp the master, and the master will become stronger to prevent himself being usurped.
** Also, the Neimoidians (the species in charge of the Trade Federation in the prequel movies) had a similar system, not where the strong survive, but the ''smart''. Neimoidians were insect-like humanoids who begin life as grubs, who the adults raise in communal hives, and only give a limited amount of food. Grubs who show ingenuity and cleverness learn how to collect and hoard food for themselves, while those who don't starve before they can mature. This system has made the race masters of strategy and politics, but it has also made them incredibly greedy by nature, and terrified of death.
* In ''Film/InTime'', rich businessman Phillipe Weis says the system where the rich live forever and people die if they go broke fits the policies of "Survival of the Fittest" and "Natural Selection". He's so obsessed with Darwinism that the password to his vault is "12021809", Charles Darwin's birthday.
* It's not made explicit, but Jack Napier seems to embody this (along with the NietzscheWannabe) in Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'', both before and after he becomes TheJoker. Throughout his life, he bullies, victimizes and even murders people who are not as bold or clever as he is, simply because he can (although this could also be strictly ForTheEvulz). Later, as the Joker, he almost seems to [[AGodAmI think of himself as a god]] (he ''did'' "rise from the dead", after all) and shows even less regard for his fellow human beings, telling photographer Vicki Vale that [[MadArtist "We're not like regular people. We're artists."]] Finally, at the parade, after [[DeathByMaterialism luring in thousands of people by promising them $20 million in dollar bills]], he casually informs them: "And now comes the part where [[MercyKill I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives."]] [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything He then subjects these "inferior" beings to several parade balloons full of poison gas.]]
* ''Film/{{Downfall}}'' has a scene where UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, played beautifully by Bruno Ganz, discusses this concept at length. After spending a good portion of the movie walking around looking like the dignified old captain of a sinking ship, he does need to remind you that he's still the same psychopathic asshole you know and love. Hilariously enough, after giving the below speech, he receives news that Himmler has began talks for surrender with the advancing Anglo-American Allies and launches into a furious rant - guess the whole "the strong must survive at the weak's expense" thing doesn't really apply when "the strong" in this case is someone other than Germany.
-->''"You must shake up the entire Luftwaffe. [[YouHaveFailedMe Many mistakes have been made, so be ruthless]]. Life never forgives weakness. This so-called humanity is just priest's drivel. Compassion is a primal sin, compassion for the weak is a betrayal of nature. [...] I have always obeyed this law of nature by never permitting myself to never feel compassion. I have ruthlessly suppressed domestic opposition and brutally crushed the resistance of alien races. It is the only way to deal with it. Apes, for example, trample every outsider to death. What goes for apes, goes more for human beings."''
** The truly scary thing is this isn't just depicting him as a CardCarryingVillain. The real life version of Hitler actually did say things like that.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jokes]]
* An old joke: two friends are trekking through the jungle and set up camp for the night. At one point, one of them sits bolt upright and says "Listen! I heard a sound. I think it's a lion." The other simply gets out of bed and starts putting on a pair of shoes. The first friend looks at at the second friend incredulously and says "What on Earth are you doing? You can't possibly outrun a lion." The second friend looks the first right in the eye and says: "I don't have to outrun the ''lion''."
** Deconstructed in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story discussed below; while [[DontExplainTheJoke explaining the joke to a listener who didn't get it]][[note]]If you don't get it, it's basically this: the second person doesn't have to outrun the lion, he/she just has to outrun the first person, so that the lion will hunt down and kill the first person instead[[/note]], the Doctor points out that while it's effective in a ruthless sort of way, it's effective one time only -- who's the surviving friend going to outrun when the next lion shows up?
** Sutekh the Destroyer takes this trope to an extreme. He wants to wipe out all life so nothing can evolve that can threaten him, despite being a PhysicalGod who is capable of destroying planets and who not even the Time Lords can stop.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Who is [[Literature/AtlasShrugged John Galt]]? Well, whatever else he is, as the poster boy for {{Objectivism}} he is certainly this.
* Salazar Slytherin was a firm believer in this in the ''HarryPotter'' series. Lord Voldemort (his direct descendent and heir) and the Death Eaters have great shades of this philosophy as well (fitting, as they were expies of Hitler and the Nazis). They believe that magical strength and purity is in the blood, and therefore Pure-Bloods are more powerful than Half-Bloods or Muggleborns (Mudbloods). In later days, as Pure-Bloods grew fewer and fewer, they didn't care too much about Half-Bloods, so long as you weren't a Mudblood, but they were still out to remove all Mudbloods and subjugate the {{Muggle}}s because they believed that it was their right as wizards to reign over the less-powerful.
** Gellert Grindelwald and [[spoiler:Albus Dumbledore]] fought for the subjugation of the Muggles specifically ForTheGreaterGood in their younger days. Grindelwald carried on, but his partner had a falling out after an altercation between him, his brother, and Grindelwald, which resulted in the death of his sister and changed him forever.
** And in another vein, the Elder Wand itself may be an item promoting this. As a wand of immense power, nigh-unbeatable by any challenger who is not the rightful wielder of it, its owner would consistently grow stronger and stronger (barring an opponent killing its owner in a secretive way, which was common occurrence) until in theory, it would reach the pinnacle of its power (a wielder who would never be beaten and die peacefully) where its power would vanish as there would no longer be a rightful wielder.
* In Marion Zimmer Bradley's ''[[Literature/{{Darkover}} Darkover Landfall]]'', humans arrive on Darkover as the survivors of a crashed starship -- fortunately a colony ship, unfortunately meant for another world altogether with existing infrastructure. Fewer than 70 women survived who might be capable of childbearing. The medical practitioners deliberately decided not to make any special effort to save any woman who looked like dying in childbirth, on the grounds that their gene pool wasn't large enough to include the weak. Definitely an example of a Racism Theorist -- and this is presented as an IDidWhatIHadToDo situation. An especially bad example because [[YouFailBiologyForever 70 females is nowhere near enough genetic diversity to sustain a population]].
* In the Creator/DavidBrin book ''Literature/ThePostman'' the Holnists believed in right of the strong to rule over, enslave, and rape the weak (TheMovie turns them into simple racists misguidedly following a self-help book, one of many reasons that Brin has [[CreatorBacklash disowned the film]]).
* In Creator/AgathaChristie's ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'', Philip Lombard fits this category quite nicely. He freely admits to having left twenty-one African men to starve to death, and is well-known for participating in quasi-legal activities. His justification is, "self-preservation is a man's first duty." However, [[spoiler: this ultimately becomes his own undoing during the showdown between himself and Vera Claythorne at the end]].
* The Dark One from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. This clearly backfires because his chief servants, the Forsaken, fight with each other as much as with Rand al'Thor- except that he actually seems to ''like'' that, too. He ''is'' the personification of not only evil, but also chaos and paradox, after all.
* In Donald Kingsbury's ''Literature/CourtshipRite'', the entire population of the world of Geta are Racism Theorist fictional Social Darwinists; the native life of the planet is mostly not edible, and famines are historically common. Cannibalism is part of their way of life, in which people with less ''kalothi'' (worthiness to survive) go to feed those of higher ''kalothi'' in times of need. The end of the book reveals that in the far future they have become a different species.
* The Fremen and Sardaukar of ''Literature/{{Dune}}'': by living on a DeathWorld where merely surviving is a struggle, they have become the toughest and most effective soldiers in the known universe. ''Literature/DuneMessiah'' adds a dose of realism when Stilgar informs Muad'Dib of the various difficulties that the Fremen, himself included, have had on other planets, especially water-rich planets. Since the Fremen have adapted to an extremely arid and dessicated environment, it makes sense that they would suffer illness and weakness in water-rich environments.
* General Zaroff's excuse for hunting others for his amusement in ''Literature/TheMostDangerousGame'' stem from the fact that he believes that the people that he hunts are weak and that he is strong. The other excuse is that hunting animals was starting to bore him.
* ''[[Literature/TheShipWho The Ship Who Searched]]'' has a minor character (Haakon-Fritz) who fits this. He actually belongs to an organization called the Neo-Darwinists. When the archaeological team he's on is attacked by a pack of what are alien wolves, his response is to bolt for the nearest building and lock the door, leaving the rest of the team out.
** In the same series, the villains of Creator/AnneMcCaffrey and Creator/SMStirling's ''The City That Fought'' are a race of social darwinists who, like the Fremen, have grown up in an extremely harsh environment.
* Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels contain quite a few of these characters.
** In ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'', Lady Felmett repeatedly describes those not as ruthless and tyrannical as her as "weak".
** In ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', the Agatean Empire's entire ruling class is more or less like this, although with very specific rules. It's perfectly acceptable to assassinate your own parents, but not the Emperor himself - the "correct" move is to put him in a position where you have leverage.
** ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'' has Count Magpyr and his family, who through most of the book speak condescendingly of every other species on the Discworld, view humans only as prey for vampires, and look down on ''other'' vampires who haven't overcome traditional vampire weaknesses like they have. Appropriately, it's revealed that the "weaknesses" of traditional vampires are actually survival mechanisms that keep the vampires safe from their main predator: hordes of angry peasants.
** ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'' introduces Sergeant Angua's werewolf-supremacist brother Wolfgang, who leads a Nazi-esque gang of like-minded young werewolves.
* In ''Literature/TheDarkSideOfTheSun'' by Creator/TerryPratchett, after the new security guy reaps the rewards of FantasticRacism and being TooDumbToLive, an alien witness comments:
-->'''Hrsh-Hgn''': Intelligence is humanity's prime survival trait, therefore it is as well that those who don't show it be weeded out.
* Captain Wolf Larson of ''Literature/TheSeaWolf''.
* ''Literature/MortalEngines'' has ''Municipal'' Darwinism, a system by which the inhabitants of mobile cities justify eating smaller mobile cities, stripping them down for spares, and selling their inhabitants into slavery. Large cities eat small cities, cities eat towns, towns eat suburbs (all of the above are gigantic and mechanized). Everyone picks on "static" settlements, which form the Anti-Traction League and fight back with hordes of airships and suicide bombers. This is not a sustainable "ecology" since there isn't much in the way of outside resources coming into the system. The real ecosystem takes energy from the sun via plants, the cities don't do much of that.
* Back in the days when there were more than two of them, the [[Franchise/StarWars Sith]] were pretty Social Darwinist. Actually, the Rule of Two was the same logic, as [[KlingonPromotion the Master could expect innumerable assassination attempts by the apprentice, for only by taking power could a Sith Lord prove himself a Master]].
* The Mesan Alignment in the Literature/HonorHarrington stories believe that their superior genetics mean that they should be running the galaxy.
* In ''Destiny's Star'' by Elizabeth Vaughan, the protagonists are sent to the land of The Plains, where the inhabitants are a ProudWarriorRace. They do not have doctors or healers, as anyone who gets sick or injured are immediately killed unless magical healing is available. The heroine gets a broken leg, but survives by persuading them to wait until she completes a sacred duty first. Her leg is eventually magically healed.
* Though one can't expect bunnies to have heard of Charles Darwin, officers of Efrafa's Owsla in ''Literature/WatershipDown'' are given full mating privileges, suggesting that Woundwort wants only his strongest bucks to father the kittens in his warren. Subverted by Nature itself, as many of the badly-overcrowded does fail to sustain the pregnancies that result.
* [[Literature/AChristmasCarol Ebenezer Scrooge]]: "If they would rather die, they had better do it, and thereby decrease the surplus population." And you'd better believe this comes back to bite him later on.
* The Artilleryman in Creator/HGWells's ''Literature/{{The War of the Worlds}}'': "I mean that men like me are going on living -- for the sake of the breed. I tell you, I'm grim set on living. And if I'm not mistaken, you'll show what insides you've got, too, before long. ... All these -- the sort of people that lived in these houses, and all those damn little clerks that used to live down that way -- they'd be no good."
* Visser One of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' subscribes to this philosophy, believing that morality is merely a 'shield for the weak' and that it is all about 'the hunger for power'. She kills several people just out of assuming they're as ruthless as she is. [[spoiler:It turns out she doesn't totally believe this since she had a soft spot for the children she raised while on Earth. One of the reasons she took a less forceful approach to conquering Earth was to avoid endangering them.]]
* Tigerstar and other villains in ''Literature/WarriorCats'' say that weak cats should either look after themselves or die.
** In ''Crookedstar's Promise'', Crookedstar and Oakheart's mother Rainflower arranges for the latter to be mentored by their father Shellheart...though it's uncommon for parents to mentor their children in the series. When questioned about it, she declares that only the strongest mentors could train the best apprentices. [[ParentalFavoritism Right in front of Crookedstar]].
* Shoteka from ''Literature/SeekerBears'', Toklo's rival, tells him that weak bears should be killed or else the healthier bears would die as well.
* John Taylor Gatto (a former schoolteacher) has published works on the history of schooling and argued that social Darwinism was the ''point''. School is based on a "mudsill theory" of man in which everyone but a small section of humanity is considered to be worthless. Darwinian competitions in school are supposed to flush out the trash, i.e. anyone who cannot fit into the enivronment and thrive.
* Crom, god of the Cimmerians in Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian stories. He breathes life and strength into his followers at birth and after that they're on their own. Any plea for help is more likely to be punished than rewarded.
* The future dystopia in ''Literature/RedRising'' runs according to this philosophy. Democracy is scorned because of how it allows the "weak" a say and instead, society is rigidly stratified with castes genetically engineered to look differently, with the highest caste, the Goldes, being tall and muscular "gods" with SupernaturalGoldEyes. Within the Gold caste itself, leaders are selected according to SocialDarwinism by use of TheSpartanWay- the first night in, pairs of student trainees are put in a room together and only one is allowed to leave alive. After that, students take part in a deadly version of CaptureTheFlag in which proctors do nothing to prevent cheating let alone abusing or killing opponents. The goal is so that whoever comes out alive or (better yet) wins the game will be the best leader on account of being the most clever and ruthless.
* CEO Nicholas Wyatt in ''Literature/{{Paranoia}}'' is this personified, viewing anyone who doesn't measure up as unworthy of surviving in the corporate world. [[spoiler: This makes his total loss to Goddard at the end of book rather fitting.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Almost all Nietzscheans in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' -- even the non-villainous ones, who are generally "good guys" only in that they exist in a state of permanent EnemyMine.
* On ''Series/TheKnick'', Herman Barrow, the hospital administrator, is a committed social Darwinist. He's an equally committed racist. Still, the show is set in 1900 New York, making it more FairForItsDay than not.
* Almost every bad guy in ''Series/BabylonFive'':
-->'''Barrow''': The poor are just weaker than us.
** The Shadows, known as the Lords of Chaos, espouse a Social Darwinist attitude and manipulate the younger races into interstellar wars to promote chaos and disorder where the strongest rise to the top ([[BlueAndOrangeMorality it's their way of "helping"]]). Their ArmourPiercingQuestion, "What do you want?" embodies this by defining the answerer entirely by their own [[AmbitionIsEvil drives and ambitions]].
** The faction of [=PsiCorps=] led by Bester also believes this. One has to wonder how they would react if they learned that the development of telepathy was not the result of evolution, but genetic tampering by the Vorlons...
** The title character in the episode "Deathwalker" was yet another case of this. Her species, the Dilgar, invaded multiple other races in a war a few decades ago, during which she was apparently the alien equivalent of Dr. Mengele. However the Dilgar were wiped out by the Earth Alliance and allied races in retaliation. She claims that the other races earned the LongevityTreatment she developed by driving her race to extinction, [[spoiler: but is actually attempting to get revenge by giving them a serum that requires HumanResources to make, thus driving them into chaos if her ship hadn't been vaporized by the Vorlons.]]
** Another episode had Ivanova trying to negotiate with the Lumati, an alien PlanetOfHats species who strongly believe in Social Darwinism; when they discover Downbelow, the "slum" of the station, they approve the "segregation" of "unwanted" elements and agree to grant the desired treaty as well as implement the same system on the Lumati homeworld. When Ivanova tries to correct their misinterpretation, they gently chastise her for her unnecessary modesty.
** One alien species constructed an indestructible killer robot to wipe out all "impure" members. It found out, unsurprisingly, that there is no such thing as "pure" and ended up killing ''all'' of them for "impurity".
** In 5th season episode Secrets of the Soul - All members of the alliance are supposed to be sharing medical information. The Hyach are holding out on Dr. Franklin. He discovers there was once another sentient species on their planet they Hyach-Do. There was some interbreeding. The Hyach passed religious laws that that prohibited interbreeding and led to the extermination of the Hyach-do. After they became an interstellar race the Hyach censored this part of their history from official documents. Over time their birthrate slowed. Dr. Franklin discovered that the Hyach needed a genetic component from the Hyach-Do. By committing genocide, the Hyach may have eliminated their own race also. It isn't revealed if the Alliance found a solution for them.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''Survival'' deconstructs this trope / worldview in several ways, most notably by turning the Master into an essentially Social Darwinist villain -- all the other characters are exploited for his own survival. He manipulates TheDragon, Midge, by playing on Social Darwinist beliefs -- a specific comment on [[MargaretThatcher Thatcherism]] in Eighties Britain. There's also a bullet-headed Territorial Army type who's a determined believer in this type of philosophy, only to completely fall apart when he finds himself thrown into an environment where he has to actually practice it. It doesn't end well for him. [[spoiler: Ultimately, the 'weaker' characters who work together and are able to overcome their purely individualistic / survivalist instincts do okay, the 'stronger' ones who can't and fall into this trope die.]]
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}: Children of Earth''.
-->'''Denise''': And now the time has come to choose [the children which are to be given over to the 456] and if we can't identify the lowest-achieving 10 per cent of this country's children, then what are the league tables for?
* Sylar of ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. Even he himself defines his actions in terms of evolution. Interestingly enough, he'll generally leave normal people alone as long as they don't stand in his way.
* Any number of psychos on ''Series/{{Millennium}}'' fill the bill. The [[LuxuryPrisonSuite imprisoned]] SerialKiller in "The Thin White Line" is a prime example.
* Pick an advanced race in ''Series/StargateSG1''. ''Any'' advanced race (except the Asgard). The omnipresent reasoning for keeping most of humanity at medieval level or below.
* Plenty of examples from ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** Khan is the epitome of a Social Darwinist. He is himself is the product of genetic engineering designed to create stronger, faster, more perfect humans, and feels it's his right to dominate the whole galaxy due to his genetically engineered awesomeness. He fails due to his [[{{Pride}} genetically engineered ego]].
** The Q being from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' accuses humanity of being a "grievously savage" 'child' race, and says they must be removed to make room for more "worthy" species.
** In the {{backstory}} of the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Conscience of the King", a dictator of a space colony, when faced with starvation, ordered half the population executed so the rest of the population wouldn't starve to death before the relief ships arrive. This could have been a ShootTheDog scenario in an IDidWhatIHadToDo situation, but he chose people based on some sort of genetic superiority basis determined by him instead of more random means. What's particularly sad was that the relief ships arrived [[ShootTheShaggyDog months ahead of schedule]].
** Though justified in-universe, the Prime Directive seems to apply this to non-warp-capable civilizations in dictating (in effect) that they should be allowed to go extinct rather than having their [[GoalOrientedEvolution "natural evolution"]] interrupted.
* [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Creator King Ryuuwon]] from ''Series/GoGoSentaiBoukenger'' is certainly one of these; his method of creating a MonsterOfTheWeek is to ''have his soldiers fight and kill each other'', then [[KlingonPromotion promote the one who survives.]]
* Ryubee Sonozaki from ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', as seen with the Gaia Impact in the end of the series. [[spoiler:His plan is to unleash a wave of energy that will kill everyone on Earth that isn't compatible with the Gaia Memories, leaving only the "chosen" to rule whatever remains, with himself as leader thanks to his daughter Wakana being the "Earth's Priestess", that is, the one who initiated the impact in the first place. Then Jun Kazu steps in after Ryubee's death and tries to launch the Gaia Impact himself.]]
* Lionel Luthor expressed sentiments of this sort in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', but it's his AlternateUniverse counterpart, Earth-2 Lionel who truly embodies this. Having risen to become the most powerful man in the world, Earth-2 Lionel maintains that "it's got to be survival of the fittest," a principle he ruthlessly applies to himself and his children, encouraging them to plot against one another and himself to see who deserves to be the true heir to the Luthor name. In a BadFuture in the regular timeline, PresidentEvil LexLuthor is one as well, plotting to [[NukeEm nuke the world]] so that he can rule over the strongest of humanity's survivors.
* The BadFuture [[EvilOverlord Overlord]] version of [[TheChosenOne Wyatt Halliwell]] in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' often invokes this trope. [[spoiler:His morality was twisted by having to constantly fend off [[WellIntentionedExtremist Elder Gideon's]] attempts to kill him whilst holding him in captivity, presumably until he finally killed Gideon himself.]] He rules both the mortal plane and the Underworld with an iron fist. His brother Chris has never been able to sway him to good or escape his target list, because of his philosophy that power rests AboveGoodAndEvil.
* ''UniverseAtWar'' the [[TheEmpire Hierarchy]] have decimated millions of worlds before coming to Earth, they believe that they are killing off the weak and they are superior to all.
* ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'': TheRival Kaito Kumon, AKA Armored Rider Baron, presents an unusual JerkWithAHeartOfGold spin on this trope. On the one hand, he sided with a group that's willing to let the AlienKudzu take over Earth because he feels it'll cull the weak. On the other hand, rather than advocating MightMakesRight, he believes that the weak have a duty to become strong enough to stand up on their own two feet so nobody can push them around anymore. He doesn't boast about his own strength, but believes that only those who seek out strength are worthy of respect; the strong who oppress the weak are the enemy, while the weak who do nothing about it are beneath notice. The {{Fansub}}bers at Ęsir have noted that this makes Kaito's dialog ''very'' difficult to translate accurately.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In addition to being quite the misanthrope and troll, Boyd Rice includes many of his social darwinist views in his lyrics. It's more apparent in his essays, though, in which he makes a very good case for SocialDarwinism.
* When you take the lyrics and music video of Music/PearlJam's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDaOgu2CQtI Do the Evolution]]" together, it seems to be a satire of this attitude.
* "[[KillEmAll Weed Out the Weak]]" by Hypocrisy.
* "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing" by FrankZappa.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/TripleH's Wrestling/{{Evolution}} was based on a very strange interpretation of Darwinism that began with assaulting Wrestling/TommyDreamer for no reason whatsoever. Eventually Wrestling/RandyOrton decided that to Triple H, the word evolution meant "[[SmallNameBigEgo Me]]" and Triple H [[ItsAllAboutMe agreed without irony.]]
* [[Wrestling/DeanAmbrose Jon Moxley]] has this view on professional wrestling, as he intimated when Sami Callihan announced his arrival to Wrestling/{{CZW}}. Since rationality isn't exactly Moxley's forte though, his idea of "survival of the fittest" was lighting the arena on fire and seeing who is still alive among the ashes.
* Wrestling/{{Sheamus}} seems to have adopted this as his credo since his FaceHeelTurn in early 2015, noting that he's physically bigger than most other WWE Superstars and expressing his desire to rid WWE of its "insects."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Skaven and the Greenskins (Goblinoids) in {{Warhammer}}. Also the Dark Elves, to certain extent.
** The WordOfGod is notoriously ambiguous whether ''all'' greenskins represent the same species or if Snotlings, Goblins and Orcs are actually three separate species. The authors of the game just mention that the greenskins [[FridgeHorror never stop growing before they die]]...
** Life is cheap if you have fur or green skin. This trope makes sense in this concept.
* The drow in ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'' are a PlanetOfHats of AlwaysChaoticEvil Social Darwinists, due to a spectacularly poor choice in patron deity (a demonic spider-goddess) and living in underworld caves whose native fauna make them nearly a DeathWorld. This does ensure that drow who survive are more dangerous, particularly to each other. Realistic natural selection might well have either wiped them out altogether or forced them to cooperate in a more rational manner. Lolth, their patron deity, tells them to knock it off whenever they fall below a certain point in population. And yes, this makes the drow a race that officially survives on Deus Ex Machina.
** Also in ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'', the now-dead god Iyachtu Xvim used to be a Social Darwinist, and didn't like helping the weak like some of the more goody-two-shoes gods, believing that they were directly responsible for their situations and didn't deserve help.
** A ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'' by way of ''Tabletopgame/{{Eberron}}'' example are the Children of Winter, a Druidic sect who believe that the world passes through distinct season-like stages and the recent occurrence of the Mourning is a sign of the dawning of Winter. Thus, if the sapient races are to survive until the Spring, the weak must be culled from the herd. To this end, they propagate natural disasters (famine, plague, etc) and interfere with efforts to alleviate such. In theory, they are {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s. In practice, most DMs tend to use them as handy "guys you can punch in the face without feeling guilty", similar to the Ashbound (who are an AntiMagicalFaction in a world that runs on {{Magitek}} of the "industrialised spellcasting" variety).
* The Clans of ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' have been [[DesignerBabies bred for war]] for centuries using intensely competitive rituals to determine whose genes get passed on and whose don't, and believe this makes them worthy of ruling the Inner Sphere. Naturally, they get whipped by the "inferiors", who recognize that you can still be of use in combat over the age of 30. The story of the Clan invasion could be a deconstruction of the whole thing. While their rituals and codes of honor helped perfect the Clans' fighting technique, they forgot many of the pragmatic realities of war. Meanwhile, the Inner Sphere realms were all too familiar with them, thanks to their constantly bickering, possessive, petty leaders.
* Yawgmoth, from ''Tabletopgame/MagicTheGathering''. An unusual example is his nemesis Urza, a ''protagonist'' eugenicist; calling him "heroic" would admittedly be a stretch. Urza is such a darwinist that he [[spoiler:actually ''sides with Phyrexia'' after spending millenia trying to defeat it when he actually visits the place, since Phyrexia is everything he ever wanted as an artificer and as a Social Darwinist.]] Vorinclex from New Phyrexia is a social darwinist as well, to the point of objecting to society at all. The only thing that matters is that ability to kill those weaker. Green and Black, despite being enemy colours, love social darwinism.
** The green-blue Simic Combine from Ravnica had shades of this. They engineered plagues to kill off the weak and sold cures to the highest bidder.
** [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dromoka]] is a nicer than example than most. She does at least respect and protect her charges, but you either toughen up or become her lunch, as she suffers no "weak links". Her eponymous clan is a meritocracy for this reason. [[ALighterShadeOfBlack Still miles better than the rest of Tarkir]].
* The [[TabletopGames RPG]] ''Sufficiently Advanced'' features a Social Darwinist faction that isn't averse to giving natural selection a helping hand.
* Two examples from ''Tabletopgame/{{Exalted}}'':
** Lunars have been known to apply this to the societies, both human and beastman, that they set up. Generally, if a nation they've been shepherding is going well, they'll stop giving it covert (or, in some cases, overt) assistance and watch to see what happens. Oh, and for the setting in question, they're good guys, who made colossal sacrifices to stop TheFairFolk from wiping out reality 800 years ago.
** Cecelyne, one of the Yozis, was responsible for the principle of law in Creation, but it's suggested her ideas, even as a Primordial, were a bit... off. Now that she's been made into a Yozi, her idea of "law" has twisted to "whatever benefits the strong so that they rule over or drive out the weak." Oh, and her chosen are the DarkMessiah caste. Be quite afraid.
* Both the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Imperium]] and the [[OurElvesAreBetter Eldar]] in ''Tabletopgame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' view all other races and each other as less evolved and inferior. The Orks also do this with their culture based on [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy warfare]] and [[MightMakesRight toughness]].
** Dark Eldar are almost exactly the same as the Orks, except replace size and toughness with skill and cunning. Dark Eldar society requires all of it's members to be CrazyPrepared {{Magnificent Bastard}}s, or they'll be backstabbed and betrayed by even more ambitious and cunning rivals and underlings. As such, Dark Eldar kabal society is constantly shifting around as warriors, dracons and archons climb up the ladder... or get kicked off it.
** Chaos worshipers. One of their mottos is "purge the weak".
** There exists a school of thought within the Imperial Inquisition called the Istvaanians. They believe that the Imperium grows stronger through conflict. If a certain Imperial sector is currently enjoying peace, they might stir up a conflict, just to make sure the populace are on their toes. They may also set up a "crucible of fire" to ensure that only the strong survive. They will monitor any conflicts they start for particularly strong, cunning and/or ruthless candidates to strengthen the Imperium. Behold, the only people in the setting who would argue that the Imperium's problem is that it's ''not fighting enough wars''.
* ''Tabletopgame/EclipsePhase'' has two factions who act like this. The Ultimates are a group of [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy militant]] [[WarriorPoet ascetics]] who strive for [[{{Ubermensch}} perfection]]. While the Exhumans are [[TheSingularity Singularity-chasing]] psychopaths who often assume [[BodyHorror truly horrific morphs]] and some of which try to be the [[IAmAHumanitarian top of the food chain.]]
* The eponymous creatures from ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' have definite shades of this, in that their leadership is decided by challenges. These can be non-violent challenges but rarely are. The cake is taken by the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Get of Fenris tribe]], who think being tougher than everyone else is the only worthwhile goal in life.
** The Ratkin (wererats) and Ajaba (werehyenas) are extreme social darwinists. The former were tasked with killing humans when the human population grew too large, and the latter kill humans who are old, sick, or weak.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Andrew Ryan from ''Videogame/{{BioShock|1}}'' has shades of this, what with his version of [[Literature/AtlasShrugged Ayn Rand's Objectivism]]. He even builds an underwater utopia so that the weak do not keep the strong down. Someone still has to scrub the toilets in Rapture; even if Ryan brought down only the best and the brightest people that fit in with his ideology, people who were once captains of industry back on land were no better than average there, and were disgruntled when they had to work menial jobs that someone's gotta do. On the other hand, Ryan had a fairly broad definition of "strong." For example, he met one of his best friends, Bill [=McDonough=], when the man was installing the plumbing in Ryan's apartment. Ryan had only paid for tin pipes, but [=McDonough=] was using brass ones and paying the difference out of his own pocket, as he took a great sense of pride in making sure none of his work ever leaked. The next day, Ryan hired him as his general contractor, and made sure to bring him down to Rapture when the city was built.
* In ''[[Videogame/DirgeOfCerberus Final Fantasy VII: Dirge Of Cerberus]]'', Weiss the Immaculate announces that he will be slaughtering about half the population to "cleanse the world."
* The ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes''' main bad guy, Lord Recluse, has founded his entire evil organization on Social Darwinism... to the point where he actively encourages every faction to fight against every other faction and backstab each other freely. It's a wonder his plans for world conquest go anywhere when all the bad guys are busy killing ''each other'' off instead of fighting the ''heroes''. [[note]]This may have been inspired by the Nazis, who recommended {{Klingon Promotion}}s and frequently assigned the same task to two or more officials to see who got it done first, promoting infighting. This did not help in making TheTrainsRunOnTime.[[/note]] This does explain why the majority of your enemies in ''City of Villains'' are not, in fact, heroes. While Recluse adheres to Survival of the Fittest, he doesn't let it consume his organization. Anarchy and insubordination are stamped out pretty quickly if they interfere with his plans -- one of the few things Villains in his city can't do without restraint is attack civilians. Who else is going to pay Recluse his taxes?
* Kane from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSeries'' infuses humans with Tiberium to make them evolve. This is actually more evolutionarily-literate than most examples, as he's trying to make it so they can adapt to Tiberium to allow them to survive on Tiberium-covered worlds instead of just making them tougher or smarter. The tougher part happens but it's more a side effect.
* Mortimer [=McMire=], TheHero's rival in ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen'' games, believes that he is the most intelligent being in the universe and that gives him the right to wipe out all the lesser beings. [[YouFailTheIQTest His IQ is]] [[ImprobablyHighIQ 315]]; Keen has an IQ of 314. Mr. [=McMire=] believes Keen can die with the rest, simply because his IQ is ''one point too short''.
* The Omar from ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar''. They're a HiveMind of transhuman cyborgs that consider themselves the future of the human race and plan to replace humanity the old-fashioned way: Wait and let their evolutionary superiority speak for itself. [[spoiler:In three of the endings, the Omar see themselves either replaced by the Helios system or exterminated by the Templars or Illuminati -- they're vindicated in the fourth ending if all three conspiracies are defeated, as humanity drives itself to extinction and leaves them to inherit the Earth]].
** At the end of ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', Sarif talks about "survival of the fittest" and how "some people will be left behind." However, he's a HonestCorporateExecutive and the closest thing to a BigGood the game has, and he's referring to the few people who are completely incompatible with augmentations, which he honestly wants to make available for everyone.
* The Altmer/High elves of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' believe that they descend from the gods, and that the diversity of all other Elven races are the result of "degeneration". They actively try to breed themselves back into their ideal, including killing undesired progeny.
** Molag Bal is the Daedric Prince of Corruption and Domination. He's pretty keen on the idea of the strong dominating the weak. In ''Skyrim'' he goads you into killing the Vigilant of Stendarr who accompanied you into his House of Horrors because "Weak. He's weak. You're strong. Kill!"
* Ashnard from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance]]'' combines this with being a BloodKnight. [[spoiler: Ashera]] tops him in believing all sentient life is too flawed and must be destroyed to start again. This is the same person that [[spoiler:split herself into the goddesses of Order and Chaos because Chaos was her weaker half]].
--> '''Ashnard:''' You? Cut me down? Heee... Good. If you possess the strength to do so, then so be it.
* Wesker is nudged to one of these in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5''. He'll give long speeches about his beliefs during boss fights, but -- hilariously -- your character will start getting annoyed with how he drones on.
* Both Serpent and Master Albert from ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'' display traits of this, especially Serpent. Other examples include Aeolus, who believes only the intelligent deserve to live, and Atlas, who believes mankind can only grow and evolve through suffering.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'':
** Chiaki, a rich-brat-turned-demon-queen of ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' leads a faction of Darwinists under the reason of Yosuga. The main character even has the option of joining them and creating a true Social Darwinist world (as soon as you help her kill all the human-like slave race for being too weak). Unique among all the faction leaders, she is the only one to fight you even if you choose her Reason, as there can be only one ruler in the new world.\\
\\
The world Chiaki is trying to create is logically impossible. Even if she succeeds and the world of Yosuga is created, there would still be some individuals who aren't as strong as others. By Chiaki's logic, these individuals would be unnecessary. Thus, her vision of a world without unnecessary things cannot be made into a reality.
** This is also the Chaos philosophy in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'', where in supporting Lucifer, you fight to eliminate God and create a world where the strong can freely prey upon the weak, and where demonkind are no longer bound by the restraints of God's creation. In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', [[spoiler: this is not a belief system you can actively subscribe to. Setting demonkind loose on the world is the result of failure, not success.]]
** In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'' this is the philosophy subscribed to by Keita Wakui and Yamato Hotsuin, and the latter provides the opportunity for the PlayerCharacter to institute a world based on meritocracy and social darwinism where the 'great' are given infinite opportunity for advancement. While said philosophy mostly reads like a 17-year old's understanding of Ayn Rand filtered through his extremely privileged upbringing, Yamato is unusual in that he uses the series' traditional Law imagery even though he subscribes to a Chaos philosophy (similarly, his opponent Ronaldo follows the philosophy of Law, but uses the methods of Chaos). If you don't take Yamato's path, you'll have to defeat Keita and Yamato to finish the game, after which Keita will decide to follow you on the basis that if you beat him, you must know what you're talking about. So does Yamato, but only on a path where he isn't KilledOffForReal.
** Asura in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' believes that civilization itself is a failed concept that takes man away from his "natural" state, and that only in barbarism can humans live properly. His method for creating the "proper" world is the [[HatePlague Delphinus Parasite]], which erases civilized impulses and reduces victims to snarling violence.
* Luca Blight from ''SuikodenII'' is a particularly extreme and sadistic example.
* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' demonstrates how Sith work like this when you enter the academy on Korriban. One does wonder how their system of backstabbery and "every man for himself" philosophy manages to outnumber and overwhelm the Jedi, who co-operate towards a common cause and don't kill half of ''their own people''. It ''is'' mentioned that the Sith will always fail sooner or later because of this, but it's never actually shown in the game. The sequel revisits the academy and shows what happens when you have a bunch of DrunkOnTheDarkSide villains without any strong leadership to guide them: a ''very'' empty academy.
* Also in ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', your SinkOrSwimMentor Kreia spends a fair bit of time unleashing a variety of threats on you so that you have to either strengthen to deal with them or die.
** If you go out of your way to help people you meet in sidequests, she criticizes you, saying that you're robbing them of the chance to overcome obstacles by themselves. Although she also criticizes you for being too harsh...
* This is also the nominal philosophy of the Closed Fist in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''.
* General Gismor of ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}} 2'', who hides it behind a facade of {{Knight Templar}}ism.
* Morrigan of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', who takes it to StupidEvil levels at times.
* Khamal Rex from ''UniverseAtWar'' feels that if any species couldn't keep themselves from getting wiped out by the Hierarchy, then they didn't deserve to live in the first place.
* The Lugovalian Empire from ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'' more or less works in this way, as seen with the throne succession. Apparently, this mindset even works on its citizens, given how strong they are.
* [[VideoGame/FallFromHeaven Charadon]], leader of the [[RaisedByWolves Doviello]], leads a pack of wolves to ravage his own family's village in order to find the strongest and fiercest members of his tribe (the survivors who fight off the wolves). He and the Doviello as a whole are Social Darwinists, though Mahala downplays this.
* Depending on the route and your affiliation in ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'', Jack-O may be the Protagonist or Antagonist. Regardless of which one, you will learn that Ravens who fail to live up to his expectations die a lot sooner than Alliance Ravens.
* Vulpes Inculta of ''Videogame/FalloutNewVegas'' claims that the reason main reason he butchered or enslaved nearly the entire town of [[WretchedHive Nipton]] is because they were too weak to prevent it, and therefore deserved it. If you decide to kill him, and establish that he was weak as well, his allies will send assassins after you. [[{{Hypocrite}} Guess that "Survival of the Fittest" argument only is applicable when it's convenient to them]].
** Legate Lanius, TheDragon of Caesar, is this to a much more brutal extent. If he rules the Legion and wins the Battle of Hoover Dam, he makes Vegas into a twisted WarriorHeaven where he puts the world to the sword. In his mind, violence will set the world free, breaking the weak and letting the strong truly thrive. He even uses you as proof, stating that being shot and left for dead forced you to become strong.
** Caesar's Legion in general operate on a belief in survival through personal strength. In Lonesome Road, if you tell Ulysses that you killed Caesar, he'll respond that by the logic of the Legion, he wasn't strong enough to be a leader if he couldn't even defend himself.
* Bass from ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' believes he ''alone'' is the most powerful robot in the world.
* This is the prevailing philosophy of the city of Magnagora in ''{{VideoGame/Lusternia}}''. As the bastion of [[TheCorruption The Taint]] (essentially a combo platter of [[ILoveNuclearPower nuclear power]] and [[LovecraftianSuperpower creepily visceral body horror]]), they believe themselves to be genetically superior to all other civilizations. Their most prosperous race (the Viscanti) inbreeds extensively to maintain its "purity", and they have no moral qualms about attacking, enslaving and eating so-called lesser beings. They also encourage [[DeadlyDecadentCourt backstabbing, assassination and double-dealing]] in their aristocracy, reasoning that the survivors of any civil war will be stronger and cleverer than those that failed to defend against them.
* The Tevinter Imperium runs on this principle according to Fenris from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. Only mages can become nobility there, and only the strongest mages become the movers and shakers in the Imperium. In practice this means that ''every'' magister is a Blood Mage since blood magic is too powerful an advantage to pass up. Any mage that didn't use blood magic would quickly be enslaved by another mage with fewer qualms.
* Apparently, BioWare is fond of this trope. According to [[spoiler:Javik]] from ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the Prothean civilization worked on this principle, calling it "The Cosmic Imperative", and it combines the natural and social forms. That is, they believed weaker species' societies would only get in the way of the strong and should be crushed. They were willing to uplift lesser races, but [[AbusivePrecursors only as long as they had something to offer as slaves to the Prothean Empire]]; the "worthless" races were destroyed. For the Prothean client races, it's suggested that much of their cultural identity was wiped out as far as the official record since said person notes that Prothean wasn't just the name of his species or empire but applied to any citizen, Prothean or non, within that empire. Thus if your species joined the Empire, you would stop being say... an earthling and instead be a Prothean.
** It's even claimed that if another civilization was powerful enough to have defeated the Prothean Empire, they would have willingly subjugated themselves, because obviously that civilization would have been superior. How true this is is very much open for debate, as it never happened until the Reapers came and wiped them out.
** The Reapers' effectiveness against the Protheans compared to the next cycle that Humans were part of is the logical conclusion of such social Darwinism: the danger of homogeneity. Because the cycle that had Humans, Turians, Salarians, Asari, and countless other species as neighbors in a galactic community instead of masters and clients like in the Prothean times allowed a heterogeneity of culture, science, philosophy, and strategy that can potentially produce a definitive victory over the Reapers.
** The Reapers are also this to an extent in that they like strong races because strong races make strong Reapers. Lesser races are still useful... until they're not.
** Warlord Okeer from ''Videogame/MassEffect2'' also has elements of this. He's a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy krogan]] scientist, a member of a species that's been subjected to a genetic weapon that makes only one in every thousand births viable. He thinks ''this is still too many'', as every krogan baby is then "coddled" and viewed as precious when they should be testing their mettle as warriors.
* This is the Riddler's MO in ''Videogame/BatmanArkhamAsylum''. Who cares if people die in his traps? If they're not smart enough to figure them out, they don't deserve to live. Really, he's doing a public service.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': The {{Precursors}} are sort of like this, they [[spoiler:created the Flood]] to test out humanity (who were an advanced interstellar empire a long time ago), and the Forerunners. The ones who could defeat the Flood are the ones who are worthy to inherit The Mantle of the Precursors.
** Well, that might have been their ''[[MotiveDecay orignal]]'' plan anyway. [[spoiler:Now it's been revealed they ''are'' the Flood, and their goal is simply revenge.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' this is the Spartan Federation's [[PlanetOfHats hat]], along with CrazySurvivalist. ExpandedUniverse materials show that weak children are killed (though Colonel Santiago makes an exception for her son).
* ''Videogame/{{Prototype 2}}'': [[spoiler: [[RogueProtagonist Alex Mercer]]]] has decided that humanity is corrupt beyond saving and thinning out the weak while [[spoiler: turning the rest into HiveMind "Evolved"]] is the way to go. Interestingly, they're completely ''not'' a hypocrite about this: [[spoiler: when Heller has him thoroughly defeated and seconds away from being consumed, Mercer's only comment is a calm "Huh. Welcome to the top of the food chain."]]
* The Mantid in ''WorldOfWarcraft'' are born from massive clutches laid by the Empress. The resulting Swarm then attacks the lands to the east, and are inevitably driven back by the Pandarens. Those who return alive are fully accepted into the Mantid Empire as adults. To the Mantid, the Pandarens' main reason for existing is to kill the weak swarm-born.
** The Mogu. They believe that they are superior to other races in Pandaria. Leading to abuses such as sending slaves to be fodder, destroying their cultural heritage, to even [[AndIMustScream putting their dead slaves' souls into statues brainwashed to serve them.]] All of this was justified by the not-altogether-inaccurate belief that it is the Titans' will.
** Garrosh Hellscream has displayed tendencies toward this, praising strength and one's ability to contribute to the Horde. When he attempted to empower his soldiers with Sha, he continually told them that only the strongest would be able to conquer the darker emotions and gain control of its strength.
* The Zerg are revealed to be this in ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm'', however they're a bit more complex version. Rather than the weak should be crushed, it's "we should be strong so we won't be crushed".
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2's'' Bishop openly believes that the concept of civilization is a sham and that MightMakesRight. [[spoiler:In most of the endings this leads him to ruin and death when the PlayerCharacter's might proves stronger than the BigBad's.]]
* The ''VideoGame/DonPachi'' series has [[spoiler: Colonel Longhena]].
* Telltale's ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'' brings us William Carver, the despotic leader of a small survivor community. He believes that humanity needs to be "groomed" if it is to survive the ZombieApocalypse, and routinely weeds out those he deems weak or incompetent, like [[spoiler:Reggie]]. Beneath the ''very'' thin pretense, however, it is strongly suggested that he enjoys partaking in cruelty for it's own sake. So, outwardly he's a Struggler, secretly a Jerk Justifier.
* ''LeagueOfLegends'' has the entire city-state of Noxus, who live by the notion that only the strong survive. Somewhat unusually is that their definition of strength includes both mental and physical prowess. It doesn't matter if you overpowered or outsmarted your superior, if you defeated them then you earned their position.
* Benny from ''VideoGame/IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream'' is a Social Darwinist who killed Private Brickman for not being strong enough; when the rest of his squad (Tuttle, Thomas, and Murphy) stuck up for Brickman, he killed them too. He [[spoiler: eventually decides to save a child from certain death and earn the forgiveness of his squadmates in the good ending.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Gilgamesh in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'''s "Unlimited Blade Works" scenario. The modern world is way more populated than the one he used to rule and thus the worth of the individual human has fallen drastically. Thus he plans to [[spoiler:spill the contents of the incomplete Grail onto the world; by his logic, those who survive the ensuing apocalypse will be strong and "worthy" enough of his rulership]]. This may be justified in the terms of the Nasuverse's backstory: the human race has gone ''waaaaay'' downhill since [[TheAgeOfMyth the days of Uruk]]. It's an established fact in ''LightNovel/FateZero'' that ancient Babylonians were something of a precursor race with nuclear missiles and spaceships and all kinds of crazy stuff. Gil's reasoning is that mankind's decline is due to the population explosion decreasing the "worth" of a single human life, and given all the crazy supernatural laws that the Nasuverse runs on, ''he might actually be right about this''.
* In the visual novel ''Monster Girl Quest'', there's a monster by the name of Cassandra who operates like this. She repeatedly kills people, then justifies doing so by saying only the strong deserve to survive anyway. Then, Luka's companion Alice turns one of Cassandra's own attacks back on her...and Cassandra then starts begging for help as she is about to be devoured alive by her own attack. Alice refuses; after all, ''by Cassandra's own logic'', if Cassandra is killed now, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard then it's because she was too weak]].
* Karales and Rei Hinomiya from VisualNovel/YuminaTheEthereal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The Ninja Professor from ''Webcomic/{{Irritability}}'' not only teaches a course on Survival of the Fittest but strives to make it as dangerous and difficult as possible to weed out the weak students.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' self-described {{Ubermensch}} Galatea offers her take on this philosophy [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20080401.html here,]] and then gets taught its shortcomings [[BearsAreBadNews almost instantly]].
* One of the justifications the protagonists of ''Webcomic/SuicideForHire'' use for their business is that their clients are TooDumbToLive.
-->"If you swim with sharks, you may not get bitten, but don't act like it was an unforeseen tragedy when you do."
* Troll society in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' is a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race]] which encourages all younger members of the species to play deadly games and take justice into their own hands. The theory behind all this is that any troll who gets culled by this wouldn't be fit to be a soldier anyways, and those who do survive will be all the tougher for it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* The RP ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' derives its name from this. In the games, only one student is allowed to survive, making the use of the term literal. Characters such as [[BigBad Danya]], [[TheDragon Steve Wilson]], and V3 participant Adam Reeves exhibit Social Darwinist tendencies. Considering that the first two organised and put into execution the program, that's a given.
* The three chairmen in ''Literature/StrangeLittleBand'' fit this trope. This influences the way they run Triptych.
%% ''{{Theatrica}}''
* Metapedia, a pro-Aryan Wiki which denies the Holocaust ever happened and consistently uses derogatory terms to refer to black people (going so far as to depicting an orangutan's brain as that of a black man). Cracked [[http://www.cracked.com/article_17341_5-terrifying-bastardizations-wikipedia-model_p2.html provides us a summary]].
* [[SociopathicHero Shadow Stalker]] of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' is the selfish type, embracing a twisted MightMakesRight philosophy more to justify her own general sociopathy than out of any genuine ideology.
* WhateleyUniverse has Crucible, a WellIntentionedExtremist Struggler, who goes around making people 'live up to their potential' by using hypertech to deliberately cause disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and meteor strikes. To him, what is a few thousand deaths and tens of thousands of lives ruined if it manages to make a hundred or so people 'rise to the occasion' and become more heroic, more aware, and more thankful for their lives?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Goliad picks up this philosophy after spending one day at a daycare and seeing force work where diplomacy fails to keep the children from running amok. Princess Bubblegum realizes how dangerous this train of thought is and tries to impress upon Goliad how a leader should care for its subjects by comparing leadership to the relationship between a bee and a flower. Goliad rejects this lesson and offers her own interpretation of the bee-flower relationship:
---> "You're wrong, Princess. Bee cares not for flower. If getting pollen hurts or kills flower, Bee would not care. ::crushes bee:: Bee is stronger than flower. ::reanimates bee:: Goliad is stronger than Bee. Goliad is stronger than all...
* [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' shows signs of this. He even says to Aang in the finale that the Air Nomads ''deserved'' to die because they were weak. Likewise, apparently the reason he [[TheUnfavorite hated his son so much]] was because he was weaker than his sister. [[spoiler:In a deliciously ironic twist, Ozai is rendered utterly powerless in the finale, with Aang stripping him of his ability to Firebend. To Ozai, this must be a FateWorseThanDeath]].
** There are hints dropped that, in general, the extremely-militaristic Fire Nation culture tended toward this trope, albeit not to the same extent as Ozai and other members of the royal family, hence why Zuko has so much self-hatred for most of the series for perceiving himself as the weaker sibling. [[spoiler: His becoming Fire Lord at the end of the series helps change this way of thinking for the better, and seems largely done away with by the time of Korra.]]
* WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck of ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' fame became this under Creator/ChuckJones' pen, a self proclaimed self preservationist will do anything to save or simply indulge his own hide, especially if means taking down [[WesternAnimation/BugsBunny a certain rabbit]].
-->'''Daffy:''' Survival of the fittest, like they say... and besides, [[ItAmusedMe it's fun]].
* The Decepticons from ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' all appear to be Social Darwinists. Megatron in particular is a stout Social Darwinist both in his views on "flesh creatures" and with other transformers -- "Lesser creatures are the playthings of my will."
** For some of the Megatrons throughout the years, this is why they kept [[TheStarscream Starscream]] (or one of his [[{{Expy}} expies]]) around. Megatron knew Starscream was plotting to take over, and staying one step ahead of him was proof that he was a MagnificentBastard worthy of ruling the Deceptions, but if Starscream manages to usurp him, then he deserves to lead.
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', VandalSavage claims that he formed [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness the Light]] to advance humanity's evolution both on Earth and [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse throughout the cosmos]].
-->"[[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld Fifty thousand years of life]], and nothing ever troubled me as much as the founding of the WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague. Dedicating to maintaining society's calcified status quo, the League would protect mankind from disaster, crime, tragedy of any kind. Had you never heard of the survival of the fittest? In essence, you ''heroes'' sought to protect humanity from its own glorious evolution."
* ''{{Superjail}}'': The Warden, in a flash back as a little boy, is forced by his JerkAss father to decapitate a puppy because it is "weak".
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' has the villain Pre Vizsla, who has incredible murderous disdain for any being he perceives as weak. [[spoiler: When Darth Maul kills him, he accepts his death, as Maul proved himself the stronger warrior.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' episode "Baby, It's Cold Outside", a penguin king tries to freeze the world, claiming only the worthy would survive. When he freezes his own son by accident, he at first claims it was his son's fault and he was unworthy, but he eventually has a HeelRealization, saves his son, and stops his plan.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' goes even deeper. Lightning Dust is the Jerk Justifier. Do your best, disregard the rest? Her. So what if anyone else gets hurt? Rainbow Dash is not pleased.
* Perhaps the best example of this character on ''TheSimpsons'' is Montgomery Burns. A sociopathic industrialist, he has no qualms about resorting to all kinds of crimes - including murder - in order to succeed in business (and, in fact, advises a classroom full of students to forget about romantic attachment and even disown their own families in order to not be distracted from making money). Yet Mr. Burns is arguably a [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruction]]: he's a physically feeble and borderline senile elderly man, depending heavily on his personal assistant Smithers, his [[{{Mooks}} hired goons]] and his gang of [[AmoralAttorney evil lawyers]] to do his dirty work. Never more blatant than in an episode showing what happened to him and Abraham "Grampa" Simpson during WorldWarII; marooned together on a tropical island in the Pacific, Burns insists that the two of them not struggle for survival as equals, but fight like animals to determine who is superior, with the loser becoming the winner's servant. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Abe immediately kicks his ass.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Averted with the TropeNamer: Darwin himself, later in his life, went at length explaining why this trope was wrong. First was that we do not know what traits that humanity needs to survive in the future, so purging any "undesirables" could and would weaken us as a species. Second was that HumansAreSpecial and even if you come from a long line of "undesirables" you can rise above it. Like if a person comes from a long line of uneducated people and then go on to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
* NaziGermany famously used social Darwinism to justify various atrocities and as part of their propaganda. A quote attributed to Hitler was: "Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong." He carried this to its logical conclusion when he lost. Because Germany's enemies won he thought that they were obviously superior racially, so he tried to destroy Germany ''itself'' in the last months of the war. Thankfully, saner heads prevailed and his orders weren't carried out.
* Sparta. Eugenics was already practiced (before the advent of biological science) by leaving defective and sick babies to die. Think of your childhood consisting of pain (no changing clothes, fighting against your best friends, usually to death, you are encouraged to steal, but if you get caught you were punished... not for stealing, but for getting caught, and finally being dumped in the wilderness, etc). Adulthood was extremely military, and the extreme views of Spartan society have given them an almost mythical reputation in history. Ultimately it undid them because they were limited in number to at most a few thousand of them and the loss of even a few hundred warriors was a major blow to them. They quickly reached their maximum extent.
** Social Darwinism was of no avail against corruption. The image which we have today of Sparta is the idealized version of Plato, not the realistic version of Thucydides, who described Sparta to be a thoroughly corrupt military dictatorship. The Persians described the Spartans as the most easily corruptible of all Greeks and their loyalty was easy to buy. Athenians were the most difficult to buy.
*** The other issue that was the undoing of Sparta is that their state would not exist without being held up by slave-labor. With the men being soldiers and the women staying at home to bear children, the rest of the tasks all had to be done by slaves. If there were ever a slave revolt (and there were, quite often), the Spartans would have to drop everything to get the slaves back under control, then go to a nearby village to raid them in order to replace the slaves they inevitably killed. Without their slaves, Sparta collapsed rather quickly.
* The communities of any form of [[SeriousBusiness professional games]] (as well as [[{{GIFT}} anything online.]]) are this. They all try to form an elite social class and try to separate themselves from the common rabble. When they can't and are forced to interact with the common rabble, they either delight in beating them, or try to outright kick them to keep an "inferior being" called a "noob" from tainting their games. If they can't, they try to encourage that newbie to RageQuit by constantly belittling and insulting them. This is [[{{MOBA}} worse in some genres]]. Sometimes the noobs do win, but [[HeWhoFightsMonsters end up becoming the same elite.]]
** This happens very frequently with games that have a free weekend event or a sale. The skilled players will usually be the first ones to complain about the incoming swarm of noobs that will ruin their games and sometimes said players will also try to [[{{Griefer}} completely troll]] the new players.
** Even online co-op games aren't safe from people who want to display how their skills are best and anyone that is inferior doesn't deserve to play with them. Snobby players will also use selectable difficulty levels as an excuse to belittle people that complain how something is too hard.
** SuffersNewbiesPoorly is this in community trope.
* Sadly, this trope is well alive [[CorruptCorporateExecutive in the business world]], as well as [[AmoralAttorney Law and Political Science]].
* The Vitality Curve strategy in corporation HR, or "rank and yank", where 10% of the work force is sacked every year to get rid of the worst performing employees. In reality, after a couple of years when the worst employees have been terminated, continuing this policy leads into unnecessary corporation politicking instead of improving workplace morale and performance.
* There are a few hundred editions of old medical, anthropological, and sociological treatises and textbooks ([[ScienceMarchesOn debunked, naturally, since the 1930s or so]]) that held that Europeans constituted some sort of 'Master Race' and that this was 'proved' by their economic development (Industrial Revolution and all that) and success in declaring protectorates over areas like Sub-Saharan Africa where there were few-to-no ethnic Europeans. ''Which'' European 'race' was ''the'' Master Race, on the other hand, was up for spirited debate. Somewhat amusingly, in Britain The Irish were postulated as belonging to an Ibero-Celtic (Spanish-Celtic) race that was theorised as being more or less equidistant from the Anglo-Germanic 'Master Race' and the Central-African Ape-Slave Race[[note]] [[CriticalResearchFailure a notion that persisted despite the discovery of the fact that the Iberian and Celtic peoples were descended from completely different peoples unless one went so far as to trace them back into the mists of pre-history, at which point they become totally indistinguishable from the supposedly superior/inferior Anglo-Germanic and African peoples]][[/note]].
** Which actually is only because 'whites' were inadvertently the PlagueMaster. From the time of the Han and Roman Empires (c. 0 AD) 'til 1520 Eurasia always had at least 300 million people swanning around and being all disease-y with each other. The Americas, on the other hand, would have been luck to find 50 million to rub together (and many of those people were nomadic and so were always at arm's-length from each other). In other words, there was absolutely no way that the Americans were going to get the better end of the deal in the event of any kind of disease exchange between Eurasia and The Americas. The Americas may have given Eurasia Syphilis; Eurasia gave The Americas Measles, Smallpox, Typhus, Malaria, and about a bajillion different variants of the common cold. While each of these was pretty bad separately, with an average death-rate of 10-30% apiece for each new variant of these disease to hit Eurasia, [[ApocalypseHow all of these diseases arrived in The Americas]] ''[[ApocalypseHow at the same time]]''.
* As all of the above in this folder shows, this trope doesn't work in RealLife. It doesn't matter how much better, stronger, faster, or smarter you are; if you piss off everyone else to the point where they gang up on you, you're screwed. Most evolutionary biologists are certain that the two traits that enabled humanity to conquer the planet are tool use, and a greater ability to cooperate and coordinate than every other species.
* Both sides of the RomanticismVersusEnlightenment argument [[NotSoDifferent often accuse the other side of being this]].
[[/folder]]

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