Fascism, Racism and Darwinism
We can list the principle features of fascism as such concepts as authoritarian or dictatorial state rule, and an aggressive foreign policy. But alongside all of these, its really dominant characteristic is racism. When we look at the Nazi ideology, in particular, we can see that it is racism that makes fascism what it is. The Nazis set out with the dream of establishing the hegemony of the Aryan race, which they believed to be superior, over the whole world, an idea on which all their policies and social measures were based. In the words of Wilhelm Reich, "The race theory is German fascism's theoretical axis."78
Racism was also the fundamental ideology of other fascist regimes, such as those of Mussolini and Franco, even if not to the extent it was in Nazism. Mussolini suggested that the Romans who had governed the Roman Empire were a "superior race," and that the Italians, as their descendants, also possessed this superior nature. The conquest of Ethiopia was based on this notion of the superior race, and that the black-skinned Ethiopians need submit to the Italians, in accordance to what was perceived as a natural racial hierarchy. Franco made similar claims for the Spanish.
Japanese fascism, which developed before the Second World War, and was part of the Hitler-Mussolini alliance, also possessed a "superior race" complex. In the New York Times of August 14, 1942, Otto D. Tolischus wrote about a booklet issued in Tokyo by Professor Chikao Fujisawa, one of the leading exponents of Japan's political thought and philosophy;
According to this booklet, which was made up for widest distribution, Japan, as the original motherland of the human race and world civilization, is fighting a holy war to reunite warring mankind into one universal family household in which every nation will take its proper place under the divine sovereignty of the Japenese Emperor, who is a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess in the "absolute cosmic life-center," from which the nations have strayed and to which they must return.79
The interesting thing is that the alliance of the fascist states was set up between groups who each saw themselves as the "superior race." For instance, the Nazis did not object to the Japanese superior race claims, but even encouraged them by describing them as "honorary Aryans."
But what is the root of the racism which forms the basis of all fascist regimes and movements?
We shall consider the answer to that question in this chapter.
Racism and Darwinism
In the earlier chapters of this book we saw that racism was a part of pagan culture, and that although it had already largely been done away with through the revelation of divine religion, it returned to Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. The greatest influence behind this new development was the replacement of the Christian belief that "God created all people equal" with "Darwinism". By suggesting that man had evolved from more primitive creatures, and that some races had evolved further than others, Darwinism provided racism with a scientific mask.
In short, Darwin is the father of modern racism. His theory was taken up and commented on by such "official" founders of modern race theory as Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, and this racist ideology that emerged was then put into practice by the Nazis and other fascists. James Joll, who spent many years as a professor of history at universities such as Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, explained the relationship between Darwinism and racism in his book Europe Since 1870, which is still taught as a textbook in universities:
Charles Darwin, the English naturalist whose books On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, and The Descent of Man, which followed in 1871, launched controversies which affected many branches of European thought… The ideas of Darwin, and of some of his contemporaries such as the English philosopher Herbert Spencer, …were rapidly applied to questions far removed from the immediate scientific ones… The element of Darwinism which appeared most applicable to the development of society was the belief that the excess of population over the means of support necessitated a constant struggle for survival in which it was the strongest or the 'fittest' who won. From this it was easy for some social thinkers to give a moral content to the notion of the fittest, so that the species or races which did survive were those morally entitled to do so.
The doctrine of natural selection could, therefore, very easily become associated with another train of thought developed by the French writer, Count Joseph-Arthur Gobineau, who published an Essay on the Inequality of Human Races in 1853. Gobineau insisted that the most important factor in development was race; and that those races which remained superior were those which kept their racial purity intact. Of these, according to Gobineau, it was the Aryan race which had survived best… It was... Houston Stewart Chamberlain who contributed to carrying some of these ideas a stage further… Hitler himself admired the author [Chamberlain] sufficiently to visit him on his deathbed in 1927.80
Earlier chapters of this book described how the evolutionist German biologist Ernst Haeckel was one of the most important of Nazism's spiritual fathers. Haeckel brought Darwin's theory to Germany, and formulated it as a program ready for the Nazis. From racists such as Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Hitler adopted a politically-oriented racism, and a biological approach from Haeckel. Careful examination will reveal that these racists all derived their inspiration from Darwinism.
Indeed, a deep Darwinian influence can be found among all Nazi ideologues. When we examine the Nazi theory, which was given form by Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, we see in it concepts such as "natural selection," "selective mating," and "the struggle for survival between the races," all repeated dozens of times in Darwin's The Origin of Species. As also mentioned earlier, the name of Hitler's book Mein Kampf was inspired by Darwin's principle that life was a constant struggle for survival, and those who emerged victorious survived. In the book, Hitler talked of the struggle between the races, and maintained that "History would culminate in a new millennial empire of unparalleled splendor, based on a new racial hierarchy ordained by nature herself."81
In the Nuremberg party rally in 1933, he proclaimed that ''higher race subjects to itself a lower race …a right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right."82
That Nazism was influenced by Darwinism is accepted by almost all historians who are expert in the period. Peter Chrisp expresses it this way in his The Rise of Fascism:
Charles Darwin's theory that humans had evolved from apes was ridiculed when it was first published, but was later widely accepted. The Nazis distorted Darwin's theories, using them to justify warfare and racism.83
The historian R. Hickman expresses the influence of Darwinism on Hitler in these words:
[Hitler] was a firm believer and preacher of evolution. Whatever the deeper, profound, complexities of his psychosis, it is certain that [the concept of struggle was important because]… his book, Mein Kampf, clearly set forth a number of evolutionary ideas, particularly those emphasizing struggle, survival of the fittest and the extermination of the weak to produce a better society.84
The Nazi Theory of Race
In The Mass Psychology of Fascism Wilhelm Reich describes the Nazi theory of race thus:
The race theory proceeds from the presupposition that the exclusive mating of every animal with its own species is an "iron law" in nature. Only exceptional circumstances, such as captivity, are capable of causing a violation of this law and of leading to racial interbreeding. When this occurs, however, nature revenges itself and uses every means at its disposal to oppose such infringements, either by making the bastard sterile or by limiting the fertility of later offspring. In every crossbreeding of two living creatures of different "levels," the offspring will of necessity represent something intermediate. But nature aims at a higher breeding of life; hence bastardization is contrary to the will of nature. Natural selection also takes place in the daily struggle for survival, in which the weaker, i.e., racially inferior, perish. This is consistent with the "will of nature," for every improvement and higher breeding would cease if the weak, who are in the majority, could crowd out the strong, who are in the minority.85
As we have seen, this biological premise that forms the basis of the Nazis' race theory is "undiluted" Darwinism. Nonsense such as the notion that nature's aim is to "cause superior species to evolve," that it uses natural selection to do so, and that the weak are inevitably eliminated, are all typically Darwinian.
These evolutionist views, which have no scientific basis, and are just a reworking of the pagan absurdity of "ascribing consciousness to nature," finally reached their culmination in the savagery of the Nazis. The theory was put into practice in human societies, again in a manner in conformity with Darwinism. Wilhelm Reich continues:
The National Socialist went on to apply this supposed law in nature to peoples. Their line of reasoning was something as follows: Historical experience teaches that the "intermixing of Aryan blood" with "inferior" peoples always results in the degeneration of the founders of civilization. The level of the superior race is lowered, followed by physical and mental retrogression; this marks the beginning of a progressive "decline." The North American continent would remain strong, Hitler states, "as long as he [the German inhabitant] does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood," that is to say, as long as he does not interbreed with non-Germanic peoples.86
When Hitler said, "Take away the Nordic Germans and nothing remains but the dance of apes," he based the thought on the Darwinist ideas that man had evolved from apes, for which reason some humans still possessed "ape "status.87
This logic is a consequence of seeing man as a species of animal, and that there are "superior" and "inferior" races within this species of animal. That is, in any case, the thesis put forward by Darwin in The Descent of Man and The Origin of Species. All the Nazis did was to put Darwin's theory into practice.
The truth of the matter is that human superiority has nothing to do with race. No matter from what race people may be, they are still people. Each one was created and placed in the world by God. The Koran reveals this truth thus:
Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God's sight is that one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.(Koran, 49:13)
The above verse is perfectly clear. No matter by what criteria human beings are judged in this world, in God's eyes, superiority consists of closeness to Him, and fear of Him.
An individual or group which chooses to see one race as superior, or tries to demonstrate it to be so, is deceiving itself. Everyone will have to appear before God at the Day of Reckoning, and will be called to account alone. Those attributes that he perceived as conferring superiority in this world will be of no use to him then. Quite the contrary, those who set up criteria outside those revealed by God, who claim that they are superior and oppress others, and who try to gain strength by crushing the weak, will definitely reap the fruit of their actions, both in this world and the next. In the holy verses of the Koran, this reality is revealed in the following manner:
...[S]hown by their arrogance in the land and evil plotting. But evil plotting envelops only those who do it. Do they expect anything but the pattern of previous peoples? You will not find any changing in the pattern of God. You will not find any alteration in the pattern of God. Have they not travelled in the land and seen the final fate of those before them? They were far greater than them in strength. God cannot be withstood in any way, either in the heavens or on earth. He is All-Knowing, All-Powerful. (Koran, 35:43-44)
There are only grounds against those who wrong people and act as tyrants in the earth without any right to do so. Such people will have a painful punishment. (Koran, 42:42)
Nazi Policies: The Implementation of Darwinist Theories in Society
According to the Nazi ideology, races were divided into three basic categories. The first was "civilization-creating races," the Germans and other northern peoples. "Civilization-following races" were those which had no power to push civilization forward, but which were "ordinary" races capable of imitating it. Hitler counted nations such as the Chinese and Japanese as being in this category. The third category consisted of "civilization-destroying races" such as Jews, Slavs and Africans.
Nazi ideology considered the intermingling of the German race with other "inferior" races as a "biological mistake." Hitler said: "The mixing of the higher and lower races is clearly against the intent of nature and involves the extinction of the Aryan race... Where Aryan blood has mixed with that of lower peoples the result has been the end of the bearers of culture."88
For this reason, from the moment the Nazis came to power they tried to correct this so-called "evolutionary mistake." Hitler passed a number of laws to that end in 1933, and the process of cleansing between the races began. Only those with German blood were allowed to be considered as citizens, and were given preferential treatment. In June 1933, a law was brought out weeding gypsies, Africans, Jews and the handicapped out of society. Hitler defended the policy:
Hybridism, with the resulting degradation of the biological level of the race, was the sole reason of the decadence of the old civilisations. For it is a fact that nations do not perish in consequence of lost wars, but in consequence of the loss of that force of resistance which has its only origin in the preservation of racial purity. For everything which is not racially pure is mere chaff.89
Hitler believed that once the inferior races had been done away with, humanity would be grateful towards him for its development. Inspired by Darwin, Hitler described the young people of the so-called "superior race" he wanted to create in these words:
My pedagogy is strict. I want a powerful, masterly, cruel and fearless youth... There must be nothing weak or tender about them. The freedom and dignity of the wild beast must shine from their eyes... That is how I will root out a thousand years of human domestication.90
But how did Hitler intend to create his "powerful, masterly, cruel and fearless youth?" Propaganda methods alone would not suffice. Nazi racial theory saw man as a species of animal, and considered that he could be improved by the same methods used by farmers.
Therefore, the Nazis embraced the theory of "eugenics" and pursued its implementation. As we saw earlier in this book, eugenics is a policy that seeks the "improvement of mankind," which has its roots in the ancient Greek pagan city of Sparta, and was resurrected by Charles Darwin's cousin Francis Galton in the 19th century. Ernst Haeckel described how eugenics could be carried out, and defended the killing of deformed babies from the time of birth, and that unhealthy people and the weak or mentally handicapped should be sterilized.
The Nazis lost no time in implementing this inhumane policy. When they came to power in 1933 they instituted "racial hygiene" laws. According to these laws, the mentally handicapped and the sick were to be sterilized, and thus, prevented from reproducing. They were even to be weeded out of society, and for this reason, were gathered together in special centers. The Nazis set up these centers without delay, and threw large numbers of people into them, where they treated them like animals. The Nazi Hereditary Health Courts reviewed nearly 80,000 proposals to sterilize persons in their first two years of operation, and they approved the vast majority of these petitions.91
In time, German eugenic policy became steadily more perverse, eventually resulting in large scale "euthanasia" of retarded persons, the insane, and other desirables. In other words, these people were killed. Films and photographs of this period make light of the tragedy of the killing of the mentally or physically ill by being injected with poison by Nazi doctors. The elderly and little children as well were subjected to this sort of savagery.
As Nazi Germany unflinchingly executed such barbarity, it also pushed "positive eugenics," encouraging the union of Aryan women and men to produce children who Nazi public officials believed would be endowed with superior genes.92 With this in mind, select females with the necessary "superior race" traits (being blond and strong, with blue eyes) were even placed in special homes, and were impregnated by as many Nazi officers as possible.
The aim was to produce a great "Aryan race," like breeding a cow or horse. But the results were a disappointment to the Nazis, the IQs of the children that resulted being lower than that of the parents, and regressing toward the population mean.93
Hitler had defended his policies of eugenics and the purification of the race by saying:
If Germany every year would have one million children, and would eliminate 700-800,000 of the weakest, the end result would probably be an increase in [national] strength.94
Hitler argued in a 1939 speech that for the sake of the health of the social organism, the state must take responsibility, "Let us spend our efforts and our resources on the productive, not on the wastrel." In another place he exhorted, "Rid the earth of dysgenic peoples by whatever means available so that we may enjoy the prosperity of the fatherland."95
The Holocaust Savagery
Nazism's racist savagery was not just restricted to those presumed "unsuitable" within Germany's borders, but was aimed at the entire world. Hitler's dream was the foundation of a German Empire that would rule the whole world, and to speed up the so-called "evolution of man" by sterilizing all the "inferior" races on earth. This in fact was a prophecy of Darwin's. In The Descent of Man, Darwin wrote "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races of man throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous [human-like] apes … will no doubt be exterminated."96 This duty of fulfilling this prophecy fell upon Hitler.
The plan was set in motion in 1939. With a series of surprise attacks, he first occupied Poland, followed by Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, North Africa and the Soviet Union. The peoples of the occupied countries were subjected to terrible cruelty, especially those in the category of "inferior races" such as the Jews, Slavs and Gypsies. Millions of people were sent to camps to be used as slave labor. Soon, these camps turned into extermination camps according to the "Final Solution" adapted at the notorious Wannsee Conference by Hitler and his associates. The gas chambers specially designed to kill humans first used carbon monoxide and then Zyklon B. In the gas chambers and other methods of mass extermination, a total of 5.5 million Jews, 3 million Poles, almost 1 million Gypsies and hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war from various nations were brutally murdered.
One of the most appalling examples of Nazi savagery were the inhumane experiments performed by the Nazi officer Josef Mengele on prisoners at the concentration camp of Auschwitz. Selected adults and children from among the prisoners were used by Mengele as "guinea pigs" in frightful experiments to determine the resistance of the human body to extreme hot and cold. People were forced into water full of ice on bitterly cold winter days in order to see how long they could survive before freezing. It is known that Mengele carried out surgical operations on his victims without any anesthetic, and that they were cut open wide awake. His cruelest experiments were carried out on twins who arrived at the camp. Mengele kept all twins apart from the rest of the camp and measured the effect of physical factors by performing different experiments on them. The methods he employed were incredibly barbaric. He injected twins with each others' blood and measured their reaction, and most of the time one or both of the twins suffered from violent headaches and high temperatures. Also wanting to measure whether or not eye color could be changed physically, Mengele injected blue ink into twins' eyes.
All the victims suffered terribly, and many of them went blind. Small children were injected with various diseases to observe how long they could survive them. Many innocent children were tortured by the Nazi monster Mengele, and wound up either crippled or dead.
At the root of this incredible savagery lies the Darwinist-fascist theory that regards human beings as a species of animal and some human races as "harmful animals." An examination of Mengele's life reveals that he was educated in such a theory. In a study of Mengele's life and cruelties, the Social Darwinism of Dr. Ernst Rudin, the Nazi doctor's mentor, is discussed as follows:
If Mengele himself became a cold-blooded monster at the height of his Nazi career, he certainly learned at the feet of some of Germany's most diabolical minds. As a student Mengele attended the lectures of Dr. Ernst Rudin, who posited not only that there were some lives not worth living, but that doctors had a responsibility to destroy such life and remove it from the general population. His prominent views gained the attention of Hitler himself, and Rudin was drafted to assist in composing the Law for the Protection of Heredity Health, which passed in 1933, the same year that the Nazis took complete control of the German government. This unapologetic Social Darwinist contributed to the Nazi decree that called for the sterilization of those demonstrating the following flaws, lest they reproduce and further contaminate the German gene pool: feeblemindedness; schizophrenia; manic depression; epilepsy; hereditary blindness; deafness; physical deformities...97
Over and over again and at every level of Nazi brutality, Social Darwinism could be seen rearing its ugly head. The primary inspiration behind one of the foremost architects of Nazi brutality, Heinrich Himmler, were, again, none other than the Darwinist concepts of "conflict" and "the struggle for survival." Describing the so-called "scientific" logic he used to justify the oppression he carried out, he said, "the law of nature must take its course in the survival of the fittest."98
Himmler saw non-Aryan peoples and peoples such as Slavs and Jews in particular, as animals, and considered it perfectly natural to perpetrate all kinds of cruelty against them. He had this to say about female Russian prisoners in a speech he made on 4 October 1943 to the SS Group Leaders in Poznan:
Whether the other peoples live in comfort or perish of hunger interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our Kultur. Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests one only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany.99
Himmler would even denigrate those in occupied countries who had wanted to fight on the side of Germany:
I very soon formed a German SS in the various countries. We very soon got Germanic volunteers from them. From the beginning, I have said to them, "You can do what you like and leave what you like. I leave everything entirely to you, but you may be sure, that an SS will be set up in your country, and there is but one SS in Europe, and that is the Germanic SS led by the Reichsfuehrer-SS... I have said to the SS-men from the beginning too: We do not expect you to become German out of opportunism. But we do expect you to subordinate your national ideal to the greater racial and historical ideal, to the Germanic Reich.100
The cost of the Second World War, which Hitler had initiated for the so-called "sovereignty of the superior race," was tremendous. More than 55 million people died, more than half of whom were civilians. Material losses were incalculable. The main factor that drove the Nazis to bring about this disaster was their claim of being the "master race." And, the root of that claim was Darwin's theory of evolution.
Benito Mussolini, Hitler's greatest ally, was influenced by Darwinism in much the same way. In Mussolini's view, violence was necessary for social change. He opposed all forms of pacifism and frequently used Darwinist terms in his speeches. He asserted that "the reluctance of England to engage in war only proved the evolutionary decadence of the British Empire."101
The conclusion we are forced to derive from an examination of fascist racism is clear: Darwinism is the hidden culprit behind both fascist regimes and the Second World War. Few people today perhaps are aware of the link between these catastrophic realities and Darwinism. However, it is evident that fascists have derived all their basic tenets from Darwinism. Ultimately, this ideology, which attributes the creation of life to coincidence, embodies principles such as chaos, ruthlessness, cruelty, and that might is right. And, moreover, the principle of continual conflict in Darwinism leads to a philosophy of savagery, cruelty, and bloodshed.
On the contrary, God created all races equal, and as we have already seen, has revealed that superiority consists of fearing and obeying Him. Throughout history, the cruel leaders who have defied this commandment have all come to the same terrible end. As it is revealed in Sura 40, verse 56, those who "have nothing in their breasts except for pride which they will never be able to vindicate" have never attained their desire. God says,"Those who do wrong will soon know by what a great reverse they will be overturned!" in Sura 26, verse 227, and reveals that these people will meet with a humiliating defeat in this world. And, the end that awaits them in the next world will be even more terrible:
God will not forgive those who disbelieve and do wrong or guide them on any path, except the path of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever and ever. That is easy for God. (Koran, 7:80-84)