A Survey of the Butcher’s Bill of the Philosophies of Pride

We continue with this excerpt from my book MARY, MOTHER OF THE SON (available on Kindle at the link):


The roll call of horrors is near and familiar to those of us who were born in that bloodiest century in human history. We know, for instance, that Marx’ and Engels’ child, communism, has enjoyed a long and vigorous run of slaughter. In the twentieth century this particular ideology gave birth to the best-known and deadliest of all the great systems of murder known to humankind. The Russian Civil War and Bolshevik Revolution produced nine million dead.[1] Stalin’s forced collectivization of agriculture and starvation policies killed ten million people, and his Great Purges and infamous prison camps jailed between twelve and fifteen million and killed roughly ten million. The Nazi-Soviet pact gave Hitler the green light to invade Poland and begin World War II, which killed fifty-five million. Mao’s bloody Communist rule in China killed forty million people, and the Soviet-Chinese sponsored war in Korea killed 2.8 million people. The Khmer Rouge slaughtered roughly one-fifth of the Cambodian population. All these dead (and we are just skimming the surface of the bloodiest century in history) were sacrifices to Moloch, who changed his name to “class warfare” in the twentieth century. 

Another guise of Moloch was “racial purity.” In that form, he claimed still more millions of lives as Highly Advanced Scientific Thought and New Religious Ideas produced a new and radical politics of race. Haeckel’s gung-ho Darwinism saw the “Teutonic race” as the most highly evolved and insisted “lower races (such as the Veddahs or Australian Negroes) are psychologically nearer to the mammals (apes and dogs) than to civilized Europeans.” For that reason, said Haeckel, “we must . . . assign a totally different value to their lives.”[2] Because of the crucial importance of preserving the purity of the breed (an importance agreed upon by Galton, Spencer, and Darwin), Haeckel believed that “the nation-state represented the unifying organic power by which the race was naturally organized” and that “the good of the individual was subsumed under the good of the race as directed by the racially defined state.”[3] Such a state had both the right and the responsibility to eliminate the possibility of inferior blood polluting the gene pool of the Master Race. Another enthusiastic student of this school of thought concurred, declaring in his book, Mein Kampf:

The folkish philosophy finds the importance of mankind in its basic racial elements. In the state it sees on principle only a means to an end and construes its end as the preservation of the racial existence of man. Thus, it by no means believes in an equality of the races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated, through this knowledge, to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe.[4]

If that language about the “eternal will that dominates this universe” sounds Nietzschean, that’s because it is. Hitler felt himself to embody that “eternal will” to power, and to sum up in himself the German race and therefore, by right, the German state. And since, as he believed, the German race was the highest expression of this mysterious “will” pervading nature, it was not very difficult to take the final blasphemous step once his power over the German state was consolidated. When the SS journal Schwartz Korps asked readers what “the Fuhrer means to them,” typical responses included:

“The Fuhrer is the visible personal expression of what in our youth was represented as God.”

“I have never felt the Divine Power as near as in the greatness of our Fuhrer.”

“What the Fuhrer has given me is not only a political ideology, but also a religion.”

“How shall I put in words what I feel for my Fuhrer . . . I look up to him now as I prayed to God in my childhood . . .”

“[The Fuhrer] is the bread of which the soul stands in need. I would like to say openly that the high teaching of the Fuhrer is to me a religion, the German religion!”

“Adolf Hitler means the same as the word God means to a fanatical and orthodox Christian.”[5]

Nietzsche, who once said “Better to be God!,” would be proud. Prouder still was the fallen angel who once said, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). For few men have ever served him better than Hitler, who not only launched a race war costing fifty-five million lives, but deliberately murdered eleven million people—six million of them Jews, two million of them Poles, as well as various others—for the crime of belonging to “inferior stock.”

Hitler was not alone in his mania of murdering for the sake of the race, nationality, or ethnicity. Lots of different people are capable of exalting their own particular bloodline over God as the object of worship, and examples can be multiplied forever: Iraqi over Kurd, Turk over Armenian, Hutu over Tutsi. And let no one think that mere membership in some religious group—even the Catholic Church—automatically immunizes people from the corrupting effects of “blood worship.” During World War II, for instance, Croatian Catholics slaughtered Serbs in death camps like Jasenovac. One of the inmates was a Croatian named Vladko Macek, who witnessed the horrors there. In his memoirs, he tells us:

The camp had previously been a brick-yard and was situated on the embankment of the Sava River. In the middle of the camp stood a two storey house, originally erected for the offices of the enterprise . . . The screams and wails of despair and extreme suffering, the tortured outcries of the victims, broken by intermittent shooting, accompanied all my waking hours and followed me into sleep at night.[6]

Macek noted that one of the guards assigned to watch him round the clock crossed himself each night before going to sleep. Macek pointed out

. . . the monstrosity of his actions. I asked if he was not afraid of the punishment of God. “Don’t talk to me about that,” he said, “for I am perfectly aware what is in store for me. For my past, present and future deeds I shall burn in hell, but at least I shall burn for Croatia.”[7]

The Philosophies of Pride, whether exalting race or class above Christ, have proved inviting enough to man’s fallen nature that they could distort the history of nations and even supplant the gospel in the minds of many. The United States was not immune, either.

Of which more tomorrow.

[1] All figures are conservative estimates. Source: Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century. Link available as of August 5, 2015.

[2] Haeckel, Wonders of Life, 390–391.

[3] DeMarco and Wiker, Architects of the Culture of Death, 115.

[4] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998)

[5] Schwartz Korps, April 20, 1939, cited in The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich: Facts and Documents Translated from the German, anonymous (London: Burns and Oates, 1941), 482–84.

[6] Vladko Macek, In the Struggle for Freedom (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1957), 234.

[7] Ibid., 245.


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