I closed out the last thread because I don't think I was being clear enough. I wrote "What does natural selection mean for a bonded society?" The question is too literal, and thus the answers followed suit.
Let me try this: Are their common intellectual currents that both natural selection, abolition and even the "positive good" pro-slavery argument were drawing from? What was happening in Western intellectual history in the 19th century that might bind these ideas? Do they have some common root? I can sketch out some pretty vague, broad answers about the Enlightenment, the age of reason and so forth. But this is a pretty learned group, and I wonder if The Horde might see something more. (Perhaps even something tying in the railroads, the telegraph and the sudden advances of technology.)
Let us stipulate a few knowns:
1.) The Origin of Species wouldn't really have a direct causal impact on the Civil War.
2.) Nor did it destroy white supremacy. The history is quite clear on that point.
3.) On the contrary evolution was often employed to to gird scientific racism.
With those general knowns aside, I'd like to engage the question from a more indirect, and philosophical angle.
Forgive me, if this sounds messy. You are watching me think. Think of this as a "Talk to me like I'm stupid." But more open-ended--emphasis on "open."