Continued from last week…
“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.” Charles Darwin, the Descent of Man.”
In 1517, the Reformation killed Christendom. In 1618, the Thirty Years’ War killed Europe. In 1789, the French Revolution killed God, and in 1859 with the publication of The Origin of Species, Darwin pointed out that we had never really needed God anyway. We weren’t God’s creatures. Evolution had created us by means of sexual selection. To be fair to Darwin, he wrote in The Descent of Man, quoted above, that we really can’t kill inferior and savage peoples, we should simply not encourage them to breed and hope that they would just be absorbed by superior races – like the English I imagine.
Later readers of Darwin, like Hitler and Hitler’s friend Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood took Darwin’s ideas to their more logical conclusions. The inferior should not be allowed to breed. In the Thirty Years’ War and the French Revolution, the nation state had replaced God and Christendom as the object of worship. We, Us, Our Nation was superior and all others inferior. Our way was better, our music more beautiful, our laws more perfect and our genetic material more special. Darwin had discovered that the purpose of natural life was not love nor was it virtue. The most insistent purpose of life is the struggle for resources and the survival of the fittest. There was no room for a loving God in a cruel world.
The readers of Darwin applied these ideas to the new age of 19th century nationalist imperialism. The nations of Europe scrambled for control of resources among the inferior nations of Asia, Africa and the land still held by indigenous Americans and Australians. These chosen superior Nations, each more chosen than the other, needed resources. By this, they meant territory. A nation, according to these Imperial Darwinists was an organism. Its purpose was survival and thus, the control of resources. The inferior would just have to take their lumps and part with their possessions, and if need be by their lives.
There were however two special nations, two nations that didn’t have any land at all, and didn’t seem to want any, first the Roma people, the “Gypsies,” but far more significantly, the Jews. The Jews may have been chosen by God, but now that there was no God, they were nothing more than parasites. The Gypsies lived off the land and what they could take with them when they left for greener pastures. The Jews were far more insidious, according to some of the Imperial Darwinists. The Jews didn’t move on. They settled in like an infection, loaning money and controlling factory production and art and theater. They controlled the press, the manufacture of weapons, public opinion, etc., etc. They had to be rooted out like any infection. Europe was about to meet just the physician to perform the operation: Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler, the leader of the National Socialist Party was not a madman. He was evil, not insane. He coolly, reasonably convinced a whole nation, famous for its art and science, that the Jews were nothing more than a parasite nation living off the wealth of others since they had no resources that is no land, of their own. Hitler could dispassionately decide that an entire ethnicity should be extinguished, because there was no God who loved and had chosen Israel as His Firstborn. The German People were the true chosen, and Hitler in effect was the god who had chosen them.
In ten years six million Jews would be rounded up and killed. They were among the 80-million-person butcher’s bill that the glorification of the nation and Imperial Darwinism had demanded. (I have no stomach for holocaust deniers. In my grandfather’s town in Germany there were 300 Jews as there had been since the Middle Ages. In 1945 only 3 remained alive. Most of the 80 million dead were the direct or collateral casualties of war. The Jews, the Gypsies and many Poles were butchered not as the result of war, but for the sake of genocide.) A parallel horror continued in Russia, China, Eastern Europe, and much of the rest of the world until 1991. It continues to this day in Cuba and to a lesser degree in China and Vietnam.
Karl Marx, an atheist of German-Jewish background, created a social philosophy that promised an earthly paradise, since there was no heavenly one. In the chaos following Hitler’s death and the end of the Second World War Marxist Socialism took over a third of the world and cost the world even more lives than had the world wars. The death of God in Europe and America and the worship of nation, the race and the State had spawned Darwin, Margaret Sanger, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Marx and the litany of sorrow that was the 20th century.
The result of all this is that Christianity is no longer the required state religion of any country that I can think of and, more often than not, Christianity in any form is discouraged – if not persecuted. Christianity is no longer a state. It has the opportunity to become a religion once again.
Curiously the madness of the 20th century has witnessed the birth of a Jewish state after 19 centuries of statelessness. In a sense, we are back to the years of the birth of Christianity. Christianity claims to be a spiritual Israel, and Judaism has become a very concrete state in this world as well a religion. This amazes me.
Next Week: I am now ready to answer the Rabbi’s questions.