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Creationist Cults

From: Sue Armstrong
To: David Moore Msg #98, 94-05-31 13:%:02
Subject: Hitler and Social Darwinism

And Brave Sir David ran away, screaming "Hitler and Social Darwinism!"

DM> He could hardly have lived in the epoch that he did without
DM> knowing of Darwin and his theory.

He might not have learned anything about it at all. He went to a rural Voelkschule as a child. Those don't necissarily teach higher concepts of science, just as city elementary schools now teach little about biological concepts. I highly doubt they would be taught anything about Darwin at that level .. if they were, it might have only been a cursory overview of the concept, devoid of proper understanding.

He started Realschule in Linz in 1900. While he was a good student as a child, the city school proved too much for him, and he bordered on failure through his whole career, wanting nothing more than to take art classes. Interestingly enough, my source tells how well or poorly he did in such subjects as French (failed) mathematics (failed), history, geography, and German, but there is no mention of any biology classes he may or may not have taken. If he had the option, I doubt he took any to begin with, at least in Realschule. He never attended the next level, Oberrealschule .... Therefore, he began Realschule at age 11, and was out by age 15, after four years of schooling, which he approached in a mediocre fashion.

It would be easier to ascribe his "strong against the weak" spiels to the fact that his father beat and ridiculed him constantly as a boy and his anti-Semetism both to his religious upbringing and to the fact that the doctor who failed to cure his mother's cancer (and caused her great pain near the end by using iodoform, the only treatment available at the time, was Jewish. But that, too, would be simplistic. He also blamed the "Jewish" masters of the Vienna School of Fine Arts for his failure to be accepted, and also was wrapped up in the Viennese anti-Semetic publications after WWI that blamed the Jews for losing the war by staying behind and profiteering and agitating for peace (meanwhile, Jews weren't even allowed in the German Army even of that time.) When he moved to Muenich was also influenced by the rantings of the Muenchener Beobachter, which was anti-Semetic long before it was taken over by the NSDAP under Hitler and became the Voelkischer Beobachter.

He was also enamoured of traditional Germanic folklore and mythology, especially as expressed in Wagner's operas, and American Western novels, especially those of James Fenimore Cooper. After all, westerns show the "rightness" of a superior race (Europeans) against the "savages" and such eradications of Indian tribes began long before Darwin's ideas even reached the US, and a country that still had "wolves and Savages" in it was seen as an abomination to God .. even Teddy Roosevelt, a God-fearing man by any means, was convinced of the rightness of Manifest Destiny as "God's Will".

WRE> In _Mein Kampf_, one does not see "evolution"
WRE>in the index, nor Darwin. There are, however, a number of references
WRE>that would seem to indicate that Hitler was influenced by young earth
WRE>creationism. I've got a file somewhere with the relevant quotes, so
WRE>just ask if you want to see that.

I don't see any reference to any science topics at all in the Toland book, either. Or in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany" by William L. Shirer. Or in "Inside the Third Reich" by Albert Speer. Or in "The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945" by Lucy S. Dawidowicz. Shall I go on? I'm certain I can dig up more of my books somewhere. These just happen to be the cream of what I have. The only remotely scientific things in all this have to do with technological "advances" .. and technology is, in my view, morally seperate from the knowlege that spawns it.

DM> "Fascism," "A second ruling concept of fascism is embodied in the
DM> theory of social Darwinism. The doctrine of survival of the fittest
DM> and th e necessity of struggle for life is applied by fascists to the
DM> life of a nation-state. Peaceful, satisfied nations are seen as doomed
DM> to fall before more dynamic ones, making struggle and aggressive
DM> militarism a leading characteristic of the fascist state." I believe
DM> it is logical to say that, in Hitler's case, this concept was also
DM> applied to the the racial group which, in his mind, was the
DM> personification of his state.

There's your problem. "Social 'Darwinism'" isn't the creation of Charles Darwin, it was the creation of a capitalist social theorist named Herbert Spencer. It was Spencer who coined the phrase "Survival of the Fittest" and advocated that it was right for Big Business to swamp Small Business, and was totally against the concept of unions, social welfare, socialized medicine, etc. If I am not mistaken, many followers of the Religious Right are also against ideas of socialized _anything_, calling Medicare a "communist" ideal .. but Spencer's idea was, "if they aren't good enough to make enough money to care for themselves, then let them get out of the (gene) pool" - my paraphrase, obviously.

Science cannot help it if sociologists and politicians distort its theories. Are all quantum physicists to be damned because their theories on the workings of the atom led the US to develop an atomic bomb and drop it on Hiroshima, and another on Nagasaki?

I understand the concept of evolution, and am currently working towards furthering my understanding of its mechanism theories. I am also a small-s socialist, in that I believe that "the cars at the top of the hill oughta stop once in a while and lend a hand to the cars struggling at the bottom" (Gary Cooper, "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"). One doesn't have to be a Christian fundamentalist to be compassionate, and one can still be that way even if one accepts that the Universe may well not be.

... 1/2 million Nixon babies, some with toys and some with rabies ..
--- GEcho 1.00
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