Social Darwinism

After finding the link between Darwinism and Nazism mentioned in the writings of Charlotte Mason (actually to the pre-Nazi social climate that had brought on WWI, and would make the way for Hitler)– per a previous post– I did an internet search on the subject.  It turned up a large number of consternated responses to the “alleged” link in the movie Expelled; and the only really scholarly-looking result (granted, I didn’t go very far down the list) was a lengthy ten-year-old journal article by scientist Jerry Bergman entitled “Darwinism and the Nazi Race Holocaust”.  I’ve been taking my time reading through it, but already, in the first few pages, have found quite a bit of food for thought.

There are several books on his reference list which I think would be good for further perusal, such as the original works of Ernst Heackel (“Darwin’s distinguished follower”, as Mason put it), published from 1876-192o; also Evolution and Ethics (1946), by Sir Arthur Keith, and Race and Reich (1956), by Joseph Tenenbaum; along with many more recent publications.

What has really struck me is the realization that the seed was planted, and the soil of people’s minds fertilized for many years before Hitler ever came to power.  Darwinian Evolution rolled right in with other philosophies and was seized on and expanded:  “Darwinism justified and encouraged the Nazi views on both race and war.”  (from the article)

“The political philosophy of the Prussian, then the German State, was built on the ideas of struggle, selection, and survival of the fittest, all notions and observations arrived at later on by Darwin in the animal world, but already in luxuriant bud in the German social philosophy of the nineteenth century, which culminated in Hegel’s political philosophy of the State. Thus developed the doctrine of Germany’s inherent right to rule the world on the basis of superior strength coupled with a divine mission.”  (Race and Reich)

“Furthermore, the primary reason that Nazism reached the extent of the holocaust was the widespread acceptance of Social Darwinism by the scientific and academic community.” (article)


About Jeanne

Notes on the journey of a seaching heart... View all posts by Jeanne

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