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Were Wallaces attempts at social criticism really faddist and inconsequential, as some have implied?

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Were Wallaces attempts at social criticism really faddist and inconsequential, as some have implied?

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No, and no. Slowly but surely we are coming to appreciate the significant extent to which many of Wallace’s efforts both presaged and contributed to the general “Liberal Agenda” of the twentieth century. One should not view his endeavors in this direction as a hobby or of secondary importance to him; after about 1878, in fact, his writings on social science subjects were about as numerous as those he published on natural science subjects. And he clearly took his social theorizing very seriously, in more than one instance coming right out in print that he felt the fight for personal freedoms took precedence over the study of science (see, for example, S157, S158 & S420). As to whether the causes he chose were faddist, one can only point out that a good number of them: (1) concerned issues that remain hotly debated (for example, the excesses of eugenics, the negative results of militarism and imperialism, the earnings gap between the rich and the poor, and the legislation of guaranteed s

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