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Weikart: Hitler’s “Might Is Right” Ethic Drawn from Darwinism

Photo source: Photolibrarian, via Flickr.

A new ID the Future episode is part one of a recent webinar featuring Darwinian Racism author and noted historian Richard Weikart, discussing his new book with webinar host and Center for Science & Culture managing director John West. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Weikart and West begin by discussing Whoopi Goldberg’s recent claim that the Holocaust under Nazi Germany was not racist. Yes it was, explains Weikart. Hitler and the Nazis believed that the Nordic or Aryan Europeans, which included Germans, were a superior race, and they viewed Jews, blacks, Slavs, and other races as inferior. Worse, Hitler and other Nazis drew upon Darwin’s theory of evolution, and in particular ideas laid out in The Descent of Man, as well as the work of prominent early Darwinists, to justify waging race war against the Jews and other races. Weikart says that his new book also shows why the claim that Hitler and the Nazis rejected Darwinism is manifestly false, as is the claim that Hitler was a biblical creationist. Far from it, Weikart explains. Nature was Hitler’s god, and his might-is-right ethic was drawn explicitly from Darwinian principles.

Weikart then moves into a discussion of neo-Nazis, contemporary white nationalists, and what is sometimes referred to as the alt-right, groups that are the focus of his book’s final chapter. There he lays out multiple lines of evidence that they too draw their racist ideas directly from the writings of Darwin and early Darwinists. Weikart is Emeritus Professor of History at California State University, Stanislaus. His new book is Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism. Check out the endorsements from historians, and get your copy, here.