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.
The historian Cor Hermans wrote a bulky, but highly readable and interesting thesis on social Darwinism, in which he paid most attention to what connected the social Darwinists. This was, most of all, the high value they set on the concepts of selection and, joined to it, elimination: the disposal of the socially weak.