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World War 1 centenary

Evolution in the Second Reich

Published: 14 September 2014 (GMT+10)

New video by Discovery Institute

Introduced in text below by

wikipedia.org Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha
Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha’s beliefs of racial superiority led him to contemptuously state: ‘I wipe out rebellious tribes with streams of blood and streams of money. Only following this cleansing can something new emerge’. And ‘… I find it appropriate that the [Herero] nation perishes instead of infecting our soldiers’.

This year is the centenary of the beginning of what would become the bloodiest war in history up to that time. Thus at the time, it was called ‘the Great War’. The astronomical cost in life was meant to deter such conflicts again, so it was optimistically called ‘the war to end war’. Because of an even bloodier war starting two decades later, it is now called World War 1.

The origins of the even bloodier war are well known: largely, it was the evolution applied in the Nazi ‘Third Reich’ (1933–1945), as we have documented on our site (see related articles and linked articles). This led to its policies of eugenics, euthanasia, and racial extermination, as well as its plan to eliminate Christianity.

The Nazi predecessor: the Second Reich

However, much less well known is the evolutionary infestation of the Third Reich’s predecessor, the Second Reich. This was Wilhelmine Germany, i.e. Germany under Kaisers Wilhelm I and II, after Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898) unified the country in 1871 from various independent German-speaking states. (The First Reich was the so-called Holy Roman Empire, started either by Charlemagne in AD 800 or Otto 1 in 962, and lasted about 1,000 years until Francis II abdicated in 1806.)

Many of the atrocities of the Third Reich were just consistent and more extreme versions of well-established views taught in the Second Reich. This is what the video clip below documents.

wikipedia.org Kaiser-Wilhelm-II
Wilhelm II (1888–1918)

Back in 2010, we had already pointed out the Darwinian connection to World War One. This documented that ideas made infamous by Nazi Germany were being taught in Wilhelmine German academia. These included Lebensraum (‘living space’) and Rassenhygiene (racial hygiene), and the idea that handicapped people were worth less than animals (a belief recently affirmed by Richard Dawkins). War was just an aspect of Darwinian survival of the fittest.

Also, we had pointed out that such horrific ideas resulted in a genuine Holocaust that has been largely forgotten today: the genocide of the Herero people in German South-West Africa (now Namibia). The architect of this mass murder—65,000 of the 80,000 Hereros—Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha (1848–1920) was a virulent white supremacist who believed in ‘cleansing’ the allegedly less fit.

WW1 not the end of evolutionary horrors

Unfortunately, even Germany’s defeat in WW1 did not end the problem, for several reasons:

First, Germany never surrendered; instead it was granted a face-saving armistice. So demagogues—such as a disgruntled wounded corporal named Adolf Hitler—could foster the nonsense that they had not really lost, and they were ‘stabbed in the back’.1 By whom? The Jews of course, and other such ‘racially inferior’ groups. This ‘stab-in-the-back myth’ (German: Dolchstoßlegende) is a major reason that the Allies insisted on unconditional surrender in WW2. This was to make it clear to the German people that they really had lost, so would have no choice but to admit the crimes of their government, and submit to Allied denazification measures. Germany has been a model democracy ever since.

Second, it was a Pyrrhic Victory2 for the Allies who had also lost huge numbers of lives. They did not want to repeat such a catastrophe, so adopted disastrous appeasement policies towards Hitler, notably by UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. So instead of stopping Hitler while he was still weak, they emboldened Hitler, resulting in an even bigger disaster than what they were trying to avoid. Many historians regard WW2 as a continuation of WW1 after a 20-year ceasefire.

Third, one of the last acts of the dying Second Reich was to smuggle an exiled Russian Marxist agitator back to Russia, after this agitator had read many of the German anti-Christian philosophers who had inspired Marx. This agitator was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin (1870–1924). This began the seven-decade–long Soviet GULag3 State4 that murdered 62 million people in non-war deaths.

Unfortunately, the philosophy behind all these horrors is now the unchallenged religion in the government schools in the Allied countries today. So we link to this outside video as a reminder of what this philosophy can do when applied to national policy. “Explore the influence of Social Darwinism on German militarism in the years leading up to World War I in this fascinating 14-minute documentary featuring historian Richard Weikart.”

References and notes

  1. The Other complex factors, including aspects of the Treaty of Versailles, as well as the catastrophic hyperinflation of the inter-war Weimar Republic, are not being overlooked. But the issue here is not an analysis of all the reasons for the rise of Hitlerism. Rather, it is to highlight the unbroken line between the evolutionary philosophies that stood behind the German militaristic expansionism and notions of biological superiority common to the background causes of both wars. Return to text.
  2. From a costly victory of King Pyrrhus of Epirus against the Romans at the battle of Asculum in 279 BC. His army suffered fewer casualties than the Romans, but while the Romans could replenish their armies, Pyrrhus’ losses were irreplaceable. So he famously lamented, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” Return to text.
  3. GULág (ГУЛаг) is an acronym of Glavnoye Upravleniye Lagerey (Гла́вное Управле́ние Лагере́й), Main Camp Administration, or in full, Главное Управление Исправительно-Трудовых Лагерей и колоний (Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitel’no-Trudovykh Lagerey i koloniy), The Main Administration of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies. By metonymy, this original meaning of central administrative agency was transferred to the repressive Soviet system in general, or to the camps and prisons themselves. Return to text.
  4. A term used by Rudolph Rummel (b. 1932), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, who coined the term democide for murder by government and documented its horrific extent; hawaii.edu/powerkills. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Albert H.
Jonathan, this article is correct insofar as it goes, but suffers from being badly one-sided. It seems to me to be putting the blame for WW1 entirely onto Germany. Perhaps that was not your intention, but that is how it seems to me to read. But historians are generally agreed that the blame for WW1 is shared (some would argue that Germany is more to blame than the Allies, but most agree on a shared blame). The British and French elites were also itching for war, not just the Germans. For example, there is now clear evidence that British intelligence was training and arming Serbian terrorist groups such as the Black Hand, who assassinated Archduke Ferdinand and triggered the war.

The article also fails to mention that the effects of Darwinism were hardly limited to Germany. In fact, one of the main driving forces of British (and Australian) militarism was so-called “muscular Christianity”, a movement of which one of the main founders and proponents, Charles Kingsley, was also a good friend of Charles Darwin and ardent evolutionist. Anyone unaware of the connection between racism, militarism and “muscular Christianity” in British and Australian context in justifying WW1, obviously has not read the Biggles books. British (and Australian) militarists thought they would go out, have a jolly fine go at teaching those “Boche” a lesson about British superiority, send them running with their tails between their legs, and then go home and twirl their mustaches.

WW1 was a tragic and pointless war, that was inspired on both sides by militarism and racism of Darwinist origin. This ANZAC myth is just that, an ungodly myth which is a product of the Darwinist “muscular Christianity” which pervaded Australian churches at the time. It should be condemned by Christians, as well.
John P.
I was not aware of the Herero genocide, the first 20th century victims of the Darwin's war against God. The parallels between that atrocity and the Muslim Turks' atrocity against the Armenian people about 10 years later is an amazing "coincidence". I wonder how much Germany influenced their decision to exterminate the Armenian ethnic group of people. Turks began the same way as the Germans by "the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labor, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre." (Wikipedia) . . . Mohammed and Darwin, brothers in the worship of death.
Lachlan W.
As I watched the video clip with its old scarred, black and white films of a bygone era, it was easy for me to believe that it was only then, in past times when men were ignorant and much more savage that such beliefs could produce such destructiveness. Other pictures I had seen of the Holocaust of WW2, though I know to be real seem surreal, as if done on an old, badly put together movie set. Now, in the clarity of colour, and surround sound in which I live; with all the vividness that engulf my senses from the TV, the internet, my phone, the shopping mall; when all the people I meet appear so reasonable and sensible; all saying how truly all men how should love each other. How then can I believe that this belief in evolution could ever again produce a reality such as those grainy images represent? Such was my thought. But I thought too long; are we any different today? Not many Australian soldiers or civilians die today for evolution’s cause, but the Holocaust has not gone; it is our own unborn children that must now bear that brunt.
Colin C.
A very superficial angle on appeasement and l Chamberlain. Whether Germany was militarily weak in 1938 is debatable, but Britain was weaker. The Spitfire went into service in the same month as the Munich Agreement, and the Hurricane—saviours in the Battle of Britain—only eight months earlier. Britain's professional army was minuscule. In 1939 the Treasury said Britain could afford to fight only a short war, wile the Chiefs of Staff said Britain could only win a long one. Each was right, and Britain won only because Hitler brought both the Soviet Union and then the USA into the struggle by invading the first and—post Pearl Harbour—declaring war on the second.
Jonathan Sarfati
I was mainly discussing WW1. I discuss the appeasement in more detail in Chamberlain and the Church, which was in the Related Articles below the main text.

Even before the Munich disgrace in 1938, Hitler had re-militarized the Rhineland in 1936, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. At the time, Hitler’s generals warned him that the French Army’s 100 divisions could easily have flicked back the 30,000 lightly armed German troops. Indeed, the Germans were under orders to retreat smartly if the French moved against them. But Hitler had correctly judged the intense fear of the Western countries of war because of their Pyrrhic victory in WW1. The French retreated without firing a shot. One history website comments:

It had been a tremendous gamble for Hitler, one that might have cost him everything if his troops had been humiliated by their old enemies. Later, Hitler would privately admit: “The forty-eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my life. If the French had marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tail between our legs, for the military resources at our disposal would have been wholly inadequate for even a moderate resistance.“

If that had happened, Hitler himself would probably had been overthrown.
David G.
There's an absurdity in hitlerian views (probably shared by others these days) that consider Jews to be inferior: as a group Jews seem to be able to do what others are not able to do ... it would seem that they are, on this basis, a superior group. So Hitler's reaction was to his own inferiority?

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