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Of all the problems a society can face, none are as endemic and heinous as racism. From the dawn of history, men had been predisposed to discriminate - seemingly for power - between different races. Devising practices such as slavery and eugenics, various reasons can at first be identified for the various pogroms that litter history.
DIASPORA TO HOLOCAUST
To the Ancient Egyptians and Romans, slaves were required for building and to be servants. Hence, there appeared a cultural and commercial need. The Diaspora of the Jews, which only ended with the creation of Israel, can initially be seen as a backlash for their audacity of claiming to be the Chosen People.
Yet to the Nazis, the Holocaust seemed to be about racial purity; a need to uphold the pure blood of a Master Race. The Holocaust can also be seen as the ultimate expression of both philosophy and science.
Nietzsche had unwittingly assisted the Holocaust years before through his philosophy of the Superman, where morality was devised by those in power, for they were powerful enough to instill THEIR order.
Similarly, with the beginnings of genetics, science had become fascinated by the differentness between races, which were increasingly seen as distinct groups coming from different ancestry.
As the philosophies of nationalism and imperialism rose, it was inevitable that these distinct groupings would form into different levels of evolutionary advancement. As the white man became the ultimate evolutionary expression, those with different bone structure or skin color would inevitably be intellectualised as inferior.
In South Africa, these differences reached a new height by becoming a theology. In the policy of Apartheid, many saw a Godliness in racism with the idea that, if God meant everyone to be equal, he’d have made us all the same colour.
Of course, the South Africans didn't invent Apartheid. This dubious honour, in the modern world, belongs to the United States of America, and their treatment of Native Americans.
First starving them by wiping out the buffalo herds, and eventually crowding them into reservations.
The reason for this enterprise is the easiest to highlight. The white man wanted their land. However, as we will see in the following posts, the subject is far more complicated than this.
© Anthony North, January 2008