Darwin's Origin of Species outlines the natural selection that occurs amongst the relations between species of animals. Darwin sought to answer the question: How and why are new species created? He came to the conclusion that the fittest will survive and reproduce. Darwin establishes that an abundance of a species exists because said species will inevitably encounter a period of destruction. In this period, those that are the fittest will survive in the struggle for existence. Darwin did not apply humans to his theory, but humans could clearly see the implications of the theory for human behavior. The beliefs that powerful nations dominate weaker nations, the rich dominate the poor, men dominate women, and that those of Anglo and European descent are superior all stemmed from the postulations set forth by Darwin. This adopted translation came to be known as Social Darwinism. The theory was assimilated into a comparison of humans by looking at health and race related issues on an individual level, and looking at wars between societies and nations on a much broader level. The Social Darwinism that is exemplified in Heart of Darkness and Ordinary Men is primarily pertaining to race. In Heart of Darkness, the targets of racially directed Social Darwinism are the Africans of the Congo. The novel paints them as savages that are devoid of humanity, culture, and intelligence. The prevalence of racial elitism is also present in Ordinary Men. The reserve police battalion of the novel was tasked to imprison Jews in Poland during World War II. The men felt as if they were fulfilling their duty, but the innate inhumanity of their acts defaults this attempt to justify their actions. In fact, the men in the reserve police battalion could be considered to be victims of Social Darwinism as well. They were drafted but deemed unfit for military service; therefore they were put to work arresting Jews. Both books epitomize the racial aspect of Social Darwinism.
[...] Imperialism led to the demise and diffusion of any positive or conciliatory intentions of Kurtz or of the powers of Europe in their dealings with Africa. Nature and Culpability of German Reserve Policemen The ordinary men of Ordinary Men are unlikely Nazi radicals of the anti- Semitic actions of the Holocaust. These men were middle-aged, World War I veterans, and unfit for conventional military service. They were tasked with the corralling and eventual extermination of Jews. The commander of the unit establishes that if any of the men do not feel comfortable performing any of the actions they will be tasked in completing, then he will allow them to bow out. [...]
[...] The Holocaust is the prime example in history of an action of anti-Semitism at its lowest and most extreme point. One of the most elementary and principle platforms on which Hitler's Nazi party was based was anti-Semitism. Hitler was a strong believer that Jews carried disease and had too much power in the banks. He did not believe that religion was the defining factor of a Jew. He felt that being Jewish was more closely tied to one's race. He launched a campaign against Jews' citizenship, political rights, businesses, property, and intermingling with the Aryans of white, European descent. [...]
[...] The British and the French were the first to get a strong hold on African colonization in the south and the north respectively. The British occupied South Africa, Rhodesia, Bechuanaland, Nyasaland, East Africa, Uganda, Sudan, Nigeria, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, and Egypt. The French controlled Morocco, West Africa, Equatorial Africa, Madagascar, Algeria, Tunisia, and Somaliland. The British and French viewed Africa as a chance for an economic asset in terms of land, natural resources, and the chance to build personal economic fortunes. [...]
[...] The Holocaust brought about the creation of the term in order to define the ethnic cleansing of Nazis such as those in Ordinary Men. The soldiers of this novel were focused on carrying out their duty, and perhaps they missed the more egregious atrocity of the genocide that they were enabling and proliferating. The Eight Stages of Genocide as defined by Gregory Stanton are classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and denial. This outline illustrates that genocide is not an act that can be made immediately or suddenly. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee