Fathers’ Rights

A Chicago Blog

From Darwin to Hitler:Ideas Have Consequences

Posted by madcap on February 11, 2008

Not often mentioned at institutions of learning, but true none the less, Darwinism has played a major roll in the ethics of post-modern man. From Hitler to Lenin, the ideas of Darwin have had major consequences.

“In his book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (2004), Richard Weikart explains the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. Darwinism played a key role in the rise not only of eugenics (a movement wanting to control human reproduction to improve the human species), but also on euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, and racial extermination. This was especially important in Germany, since Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles.”

A few thoughts from Eric Voegelin’s Hitler and The Germans.

From the editors’ introduction:

Voegelin asks the question; “… how it was possible that an effective majority of Germans accepted a leader of Hitler’s type. The ‘anthropological principle’ is Voegelin’s term for Plato’s comment that the polis is man written large. It holds that the quality of a society is determined by the moral character of its members.”

This is a good passage, and includes statements by Hitler. p.124-125

“Hitler’s ideas on religion were those of relatively primitive monism, approximately corresponding to Haeckel’s Weltratsel at the turn of the century. Let me quote and comment on a few passages from the later years up to 1944, contained in the English edition of Hitler’s Table Talk but not in Hitlers Tischgespache, which Schramm edited. There, Hitler explained- that …

‘the dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science… All that is left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic.[so,final reduction to the material basis.] When understanding of the universe[as something caused materially.] has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light, but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, the the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity. ”

Voegelin continues;

p. 140-141

I will now analyze this similarity by comparing two passages. Schramm is an impartial researcher of sources and in this volume of the Table Talks he also presents Hitler’s speech of May 30, 1942, given to the young officers of the Germon Wehrmacht.

Hitler:

My young comrades! A deeply serious sentence of a great military philosopher enunciates that struggle, and thereby war, is the father of all things. Whoever casts an eye on nature, as it is, will find this sentence confirmed as valid for all living things and for all events, not only on this earth, but far beyond it. The entire universe seems to be ruled by just one idea, that an eternal selection [Totally natural!]takes place in which the stronger in the end maintains life and the right to live, and the weaker falls. One will say that nature is therefore cruel and merciless, but the other will grasp that nature is thus only obeying an iron law of logic…”
Hitler and the Germans
Eric Voegelin
Translated, Edited, and with an Introduction
by Detlev Clemens
and Brendan Purcell

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world… The break between men and his nearest allies will then be wider.”- Darwin, The Descent of Man, Ch. 2

“No doubt the difference in this respect is enormous, even if we compare the mind of one of the lowest savages, who has no words to express any number higher than four, and who uses hardly any abstract terms for common objects or for the affections, with that of the most highly organized ape.”

“Nor is the difference slight in moral disposition between a barbarian, such as the man described by the old navigator Byron, who dashed his child on the rocks for dropping a basket of sea-urchins, and a Howard or Clarkson; and in intellect, between a savage who uses hardly any abstract terms, and a Newton or Shakespeare. Differences of this kind between the highest men of the highest races and the lowest savages, are connected by the finest gradations.”-Darwin, Descent of Man, Ch. 3


Ann Coulter has a large part of her Godless devoted to this topic. This is from p. 268-269:

“As Darwinism gained currency, humanity did sink into greater degradation and brutalization than any since written records of human history began. A generation later, the world would witness the rise of the eugenics movement; racial hygiene societies; the first genocide in recorded history; Nazi Germany; Stalinist gulags… But Hitler and Marx were not citing Louisa May Alcott’s Little Woman for support. They were citing Darwin…

…After reading Darwin’s Origin of Species, Marx dashed a note to Engels, saying, ‘This is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our views.’

While Marx saw the “struggle” as among classes, Hitler conceived of the struggle as among the races. Mein Kampf means “My Struggle,” which Hitler described in unmistakably Darwinian terms.”

These are some segments from “the Life and Death of Lenin,” by, Robert Payne that show further the influence of Darwinism:

p. 626-629

” On Lenin’s desk in the Kremlin there stood, for most of the years he worked there, a strange bronze statue of an ape gazing with an expression of profound bewilderment and dismay at an oversize human skull… It was the only piece of sculpture on the desk, the first thing that met the eye; and whenever Lenin looked up from his desk to gaze at the very large photograph of Karl Marx, he would inevitably see the ape…

For a Russian intellectual to dispute Darwinism or any other acceptable scientific theory was to commit a heresy

In the light of Lenin’s character and beliefs, the ape and the skull acquire a terrible significance. They are the emblems of the nullity and degradation of the human spirit.”

Also watch:

The Nazi Darwin Connection

Impact on Marxism & Communism

Stephen Meyer vs Peter Ward: Intelligent Design

Unlocking the Mysteries of Life.

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13 Responses to “From Darwin to Hitler:Ideas Have Consequences”

  1. eveningperson said

    This is total rubbish. Hitler rejected evolutionary theory.

    There is no connection between evolutionary theory and so-called ‘social darwinism’, which Darwin would have rejected. He was actually very progressive for his time on issues such as race, not surprisingly perhaps, as he recognised a common origin for the human race, while Christians have commonly believed that God created the races unequal, the lower classes to be subservient to the higher, and that the Jews were ‘guilty’ of killing Christ.

    There is also no connection between Ann Coulter or Richard Weikart and truth or reason.

  2. drlindberg said

    There are three reasons why I wish anti-evolutionists would drop these arguments about Darwin and Hitler:

    1. They are untrue. I can find no real evidence that Hitler even read or understood Darwin.

    2. Even if they were true, they are illogical. Just because Hitler believed something does not make it untrue. Presumably he believed the world was round.
    Hitler loved dogs and children. Does this mean that everyone who loves dogs and children is an maniacal mass murderer?

    3. There is a maxim known as “Reductio ad Hitlerum.” In any unending argument, one side will eventually end up comparing their opponent with Hitler. That side inevitably loses.

    Cheers!

  3. madcap said

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world… The break between men and his nearest allies will then be wider.”

    Darwin or Hitler?

  4. Archy said

    Hahahahahaha, this is a joke right? I have seriously never heard this argument before! Hilarious! You know that the notion of eugenics was not invented by Darwin right?

    Social Darwinism is not the same as Darwinian Evolutionary theory, sorry. If you don’t believe me, look it up, and why not start blaming Plato since the notion of state or religious mandated genetic control started with him…

    Next time try and do the research before you spew this rhetorical garbage on the net where innocent children may read it.

  5. drlindberg said

    Three things about your quotation from The Descent of Man:

    Have you read the book, to see the comment in its context? He has a whole chapter describing other peoples’ views on race, views he clearly states he does not agree with. Why are anti-evolutionists always quoting from books they haven’t read?

    What has the quotation to do with Hitler? What evidence do you have that HE ever read it?

    Darwin was describing something taking place at the time he wrote. Does this means he was in favour of it? Those who talk about languages or species going extinct nowadays do not tend to be those who are in favour of it, do they?

    Do you think one short out-of context quotation can be evidence of anything as complicated as Naziism?

  6. madcap said

    drlinderg,
    “Have you read the book…Why are anti-evolutionists always quoting from books they haven’t read?”

    First, I’m not a anti-evolutionists, I’m anti-gay science.

    Yes I read the book. Most of the quotations I use are from my books, not cut and past from other sites. Darwin, like most men of his day, believed that white people were of higher intellect and morality than the dark races.

    Darwin, Descent of Man, Ch. 3

    “No doubt the difference in this respect is enormous, even if we compare the mind of one of the lowest savages, who has no words to express any number higher than four, and who uses hardly any abstract terms for common objects or for the affections, with that of the most highly organized ape.”

    “Nor is the difference slight in moral disposition between a barbarian, such as the man described by the old navigator Byron, who dashed his child on the rocks for dropping a basket of sea-urchins, and a Howard or Clarkson; and in intellect, between a savage who uses hardly any abstract terms, and a Newton or Shakespeare. Differences of this kind between the highest men of the highest races and the lowest savages, are connected by the finest gradations.”

  7. Dan said

    Great. You can quote. What you haven’t quoted is a passage where Darwin suggests that we go murdering innocents in order to survive.

    You may have read these books, but you clearly do not understand them. I haven’t read “murder” or “genocide” in a single one of your quotes of Darwin.

    Idiot.

  8. madcap said

    Dan,
    If you truly feel that I’m an “idiot” than once again, why get up at 7:00 in the morning and come to my blog? You are correct in that I have read Darwin’s works. I have them next to me this moment. Have you read anything by Hitler or the Nazis? I have never claimed that Darwin suggested to go out and start killing people. What I am presenting is that ideas have consequences.

  9. Dan said

    And, incidentally, I’m in Europe at the time-being. It’s afternoon here right now.

  10. Dan said

    “What I am presenting is that ideas have consequences.”

    Great. When you find a quote saying that it was Darwin’s idea to murder, you win. Until then, you’re an idiot or a liar, or both.

  11. drlindberg said

    Maybe I’m the idiot because I don’t see what you are getting at. No one disputes the fact that ideas have consequences. The question is whether there was any relation from Darwin to Hitler.

    All you have shown is that “Darwin, like most men of his day, believed that white people were of higher intellect and morality than the dark races.” You can find similar quotations from Abraham Lincoln, for one.

    But if the ideas you quote from Darwin were common currency, as you state, this makes it even less likely that Hitler got his ideas from Darwin. I believe the world is round. Presumably Hitler believed the world is round, but that doesn’t mean he got that idea from me.

    Since you seem to have read Hitler, perhaps you can tell me whether he ever quoted Darwin. I can’t find any examples of this. It would be evidence that he was at least aware of Darwin and may have read him.

    How about this?
    “Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish … it would be wrong to be merciful and confirm them in their conduct. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all the their other vices and thus merit God’s wrath and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his. I am exonerated …”
    which is a small part of a tirade I found at http://www.awitness.org/books/luther/on_jews_and_their_lies_p3.html

    As far as I know, Darwin never said anything against the Jews. It appears that Hitler’s ideas about Jews were closer to those of Martin Luther than those of Darwin. Does that mean we should blame Luther for Hitler?

    Rather than Weikart, I suggest you look at Gasman, Daniel. (1971). The Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League (Revised version of the author’s thesis, University of Chicago). London: Macdonald.

    His thesis is summarized in the following paragraph from the introduction:

    “In the decades around the turn of the century racially inspired social Darwinism in Germany, which was almost completely indebted to Haeckel for its creation, and which on the whole had little, if anything at all, to do with Charles Darwin, played a very important and decisive role in the intellectual history of the period. Haeckel’s ideas on social Darwinism were brought to fruition in a milieu that was particularly German. His ideas served to unite into a full-bodied ideology the trends of racism, imperialism, romanticism, anti-Semitism, and nationalism which were floating around among various dissatisfied and frustrated groups in German society, especially among the lower middle classes. Finding themselves in danger of being forced down into the working class, the lower middle classes expressed their anxiety through the medium of certain ideas which were mystically nationalistic and anti-Semitic, and which grasped for roots in German life and history. The form which social Darwinism took in Germany was a pseudo-scientific religion of nature worship and nature-mysticism combined with notions of racism. It was based on both the social Darwinian ideas of Haeckel and the ideology of Volkism which was related to and largely inspired by his writings.”
    Page xxiii

    Cheers!

  12. madcap said

    See this:
    https://thoughtsongod.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/has-science-killed-god-bynorman-podhoretz/

  13. drlindberg said

    Thank you. I now see where you are coming from. My next question was to be a request to explain more clearly what you meant by gay science. The article you linked to made things a lot clearly for me.

    But I still not see how this shows any relation between Darwin and Hitler.

    “reason in the form of science had shown that it, not God, was omnipotent and was on its way to usurping the divine attribute of omniscience as well.”

    I certainly agree with you that this is a danger, but I don’t know any scientists who claim to be omniscient – far from it!! (Although they are human and some seem more arrogant than they should be.) Scientists seem to be continuously saying we don’t know this, or that is a tentative conclusion, that they are only beginning to vaguely understand their subject, and there still remains far more to learn. For example, they admit they still do not understand the first thing about gravity.

    It appears to me that it is those who attack evolution who seem to think they are omniscient, claiming to know more about the science than those who have spent their lives studying it.

    Cheers again!

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