Analysing the works of social theorists such as Herbert Spencer, Alfred Russell Wallace, Ernst Haeckel, and Alfred Schäffle, as well as Darwin’s own work, Dr Hermans concludes that, although not a homogeneous ideology, different versions of social Darwinism all centred around the general notion that modern society could not, in the long run, disrupt natural selection without grave consequences.

International Review of Social History, vol. 51, 2006

All this implies that … the so-called classical liberals, who nowadays call themselves neo-liberals or libertarians, claim Mill’s ideas and contend they follow in his footsteps. The Dutch historian Cor Hermans modifies this image thoroughly in his highly readable book Een Engelsman in Frankrijk …. In it he doesn’t deny that the famous philosopher played an important role in the history of European liberalism, but he demonstrates … that [Mill] was also influenced, and substantially so, by the Romantic Movement, socialism, and positivism.

Dirk Verhofstadt, 17 October, 2008,