(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
It is now a universally acknowledged fact that the Twentieth Century represented one of the darkest and bloodiest centuries in the history of humanity. The idea of 'Social Darwinism', the basics of which were put forth in the 19th Century, was the main reason that dragged the 20th Century into an array of turbulence, dissension, war and conflict. Hence, it is crucial to grasp the importance of the impact Social Darwinism had on the world of thought. Employing the concept of Social Darwinism (which lacks any scientific foundation), many people who did not live according to the morality of religion started to regard cruelty, violence and persecution as natural. The repercussions of that falsified ideology can still be seen in our world today. The persecutors, in their own minds, claimed that their cruelty had a scientific foundation; that wrongful mindset made the 20th Century rife with killings perpetrated by totalitarian regimes and organizations that oppressed and slaughtered innocent people for the sake of their own ideological obsessions.
Looking at the terrible sufferings and disasters that fascism has inflicted on mankind will enable one to understand the impact of Social Darwinism on the bloodshed and the genocide the world witnessed during World War II. Adolf Hitler, the ideologist and leader of the Nazi movement, was undisputedly the most dangerous of the racist Social Darwinists. Under his command, the Nazis carried out genocide on an industrial scale against people they considered “inferior races”, including the Jews, Gypsies and Eastern Europeans. To understand the meaning of the term “inferior races”, and the roots of that so-called scientific misconception, we should look at the underlying philosophy of Social Darwinism.