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- a. Application of Darwin’s principle of organic evolution= social Darwinism
- b. Social Darwinism
- i. Herbert Spencer used it to argue that societies were organisms that evolved through time from a struggle with their environment
- 1. Progress from the struggle for survival: strong advanced; weak didn’t
- i. In racists’ and nationalists’ pursuit of national greatness, they argued that nations were engaged in struggle for existence with fittest surviving
- 1. Freidrich von Bernhardi: war is needed; without it, an unhealthy development will follow
- i. Nationalist Association of Italy declared that “we must teach Italy the value of international struggle. WAR!”
- ii. Strengthened with biological arguments
- 1. Nowhere was the combo of extreme nationalism and racism more evident/ dangerous than Germany
- a. Volk (fulk= nation, race, etc) was underlying idea in German history since beginning of 19th
- i. One of chief propagandists for German volkish thought was Houston Stewart Chamberlain, an Englishman who became a German citizen
The Foundations of the 19th Century
- 1. The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century made special impact on Germany
- a. Modern-day Germans were the only pure successors of the Aryans, who were portrayed as the true and original creators of Western culture
The Aryan race
- i. The Aryan race, under German leadership, must be prepared to fight for Western Civilization and save it from the destructive assaults of lower races like Jews, Negroes, etc.
- ii. Jews were singled out by German volkish nationalists as racial enemies in biological terms
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