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December 22, 2004

THE IDEOLOGICAL ORIGINS OF GENOCIDE



"In January 1849, months before he migrated to London, Karl Marx published an article by Friedrich Engels in Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung announcing that in Central Europe only Germans, Hungarians and Poles counted as bearers of progress. The rest must go. "The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust."

Genocide arose out of Marx's master-theory of history -- feudalism giving place inevitably to capitalism, capitalism to socialism. The lesser races of Europe -- Basques, Serbs, Bretons and others -- being sunk in feudalism, were counter-revolutionary; having failed to develop a bourgeoisie, they would be two steps behind in the historical process. Engels dismissed them as left-overs and ethnic trash (Voelkerabfall), and called for their extinction.

So genocide was born as a doctrine in the German Rhineland in January 1849, in a Europe still reeling from the revolutions of 1848. It was to become the beacon light of socialism, proudly held and proudly proclaimed."


The above is a quote from the latest article by George Watson -- a literary historian specializing in the early history of socialism (I have an earlier article of his posted here and there is a review of his major book here). The quote is taken from an article in the December 2004 issue of Quadrant, Australia's premier intellectual conservative magazine. The article will not be online for a month or so yet but I have temporarily posted here and here a PDF of the first page.

I have of course for some time been pointing out that eugenics was a great Leftist cause right up until Hitler thoroughly discredited the idea with his atrocities. Documenting the Leftist infatuation with eugenics in the first half of the 20th century is all too easy. But the fact that the idea largely originated with Marx and Engels themselves has been hidden from public awareness with almost total success. There are many avid scholars of Marx's every word but some things are just too embarrassing to mention. I earnestly hope that the Marxian origin of Hitler's doctrines will become increasingly well-known. I hope that other bloggers will join me in publicizing it.