The role social Darwinism played in starting World War I. It’s based largely on parts of Richard Weikart’s book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, produced by John West.
Here’s the site. These not accusations, by the way, they are historical facts, amply sourced with quotations from the period. If it’s all a big misunderstanding or misinterpretation, then so is history.
Here’s an interview with Weikart, explaining how he came to write on these topics:
Weikart is sometimes attacked in print for having had a sordid motive for even raising the issue. So why did he do it? And how did he get interested in the first place?
Actually, at first, he wasn’t interested. While living in Germany some years ago to improve his German, he was mainly interested in the nineteenth century. He doubted that he would uncover anything new about the Third Reich. For one thing, in his view, it was an overworked field. But then he discovered one neglected point:
[A]s I investigated the history of evolutionary ethics in pre-World War I Germany, I noticed—to my surprise—remarkable similarities between the ideas of those promoting evolutionary ethics and Hitler’s worldview. This discovery (which happened around 1995) led me to investigate Hitler’s worldview more closely, and this research convinced me that I had found something important to say about Hitler’s ideology.
As he put it in Hitler’s Ethic [a second book],
Evolutionary ethics underlay or influenced almost every major feature of Nazi policy: eugenics . . . euthanasia, racism, population expansion, offensive warfare and racial extermination. Hitler’s ethic was essentially an evolutionary ethic that exalted biological progress above all other moral considerations. Humans must adapt to and even model themselves after the laws of nature. More.
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