The Strange Case of Little Green Footballs II

About the Darwin-Hitler connection, I’ve written many times before (see here, here, and here, for example), quoting Hitler himself, his standard biographers, and Hannah Arendt. What emerges is that Nazism is indeed a kind of applied Darwinism, unintended by Charles Darwin himself, of course. Ideas have consequences, and some of them are unintended. Obvious, right? Not to blogger Charles Johnson in Little Green Footballs, who jumped on me in a recent post for writing two sentences in a Jerusalem Post op-ed to the effect that “Hitler himself clearly dismissed as ineffective any fancied strategy to try to whip up Germans with appeals to punish the Christ-killers. In Mein Kampf, an influential best-seller, he relied on the language of Darwinian biology Read More ›

The Strange Case of Little Green Footballs I

The popular conservative blogger Little Green Footballs has it in for Darwin doubters and recently called me a near-liar merely for alluding in an article to the well-known Darwin-Hitler connection. He regards the very idea of such a connection as a “creationist” canard. “Klinghoffer’s claim,” comments LGF, “is just short of an outright lie.” Normally, I think it’s best for friends of ID to avoid a defensive posture and generally let critics say what they want without our always feeling obliged to respond. But here, because LGF is otherwise such an interesting and valuable blog, and because he’s given me an occasion to raise important related questions, I am going to answer him after all. As of this writing, if Read More ›

Darwinism & Communism, Part III

In previous posts in this brief series, we’ve been looking at the relationship between Marx and Darwin, who developed parallel theories of historical or natural law. In a religious context, law is perceived as static and eternal: God’s law, higher than any man, worthy of judging kings and tyrants by its light. Marxism and Darwinism, as materialist philosophies, believe they have succeeded in obviating the need for God, or metaphysics generally. For them, there is no such thing as a static, eternal moral law. Thus in the Descent of Man, Darwin describes the process by which morals evolve, just like animal bodies. He finds nothing absolute or God-given even in a seemingly fundamental moral instinct like that against incest: “We Read More ›

Darwinism & Communism, Part II

In 1891 in Gori, Georgia, a 13-year-old choirboy with dreams of becoming a priest, Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was discovered by his mother at dawn, having stayed awake through the night reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. “I loved the book so much, Mummy, I couldn’t stop reading,” he explained. He later told a friend that God “doesn’t actually exist. We’ve been deceived.” “How can you say such a thing?” the friend exclaimed, to which the boy, the future Joseph Stalin, replied by handing him a copy of Darwin. In this little series, we are asking, among other things, what came from Stalin’s precocious appreciation of evolutionary theory? Hitler and Stalin alike sought to create a new race of supermen. Where did Read More ›

Darwinism & Communism, Part I

Does Darwinism lend support more naturally to a capitalist moral-economic perspective or to some other competing philosophical standpoint, say, a Marxist one? Economic historian Niall Ferguson takes the former view. He’s been having a good run with his new book The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World — that is, apart from being taken to task by a number of reviewers for applying a Darwinian framework to understanding market forces. In the current New York Review of Books, economist Robert Skidelsky chides Ferguson for purveying “false analogies between financial evolution and Darwinian natural selection….These attempts to explain the rise of money in terms of natural processes strike me as being both morally and philosophically naïve.” Ferguson describes Read More ›