The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective

By Robert Gellately; Ben Kieman | Go to book overview

7
Military Culture and the Production of “Final
Solutions” in the Colonies

The Example of Wilhelminian Germany
ISABEL V. HULL

It has been almost fifty years since Hannah Arendt made her bold statement, in Origins of Totalitarianism, that imperialism was one of the chief factors leading to totalitarianism and to its “final solutions.”1 She argued that imperialism was basically the idea and practice of limitless expansion for its own sake. Originally an economic notion akin to capitalism, imperialism in practice kicked itself loose from the limits imposed by profit and apotheosized violence as a conscious aim in itself. “Violence administered for power's (and not for law's) sake turns into a destructive principle that will not stop until there is nothing left to violate.”2 In the colonies, vague, insubstantial race thinking mutated into racism, the justification for the horrors perpetrated by whites against nonwhites in the situation of limitless violence.3

Arendt's hypothesis is most obviously convincing on the level of ideology.4 It is no accident that the most radical proponents of imperialism were also the first to cement into a single world view modern racism, antisemitism, ruthless Social Darwinism, the dream of total domination, the militarization of society, and the worship of war as the best means (even goal) of politics. In Germany the Pan-Germans, who began institutional life in 1890 as one of several procolonial agitation groups, brought the destructive principles of imperialism home to Europe, to be applied to Europeans in a future

____________________
1
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York, 1951).
2
Ibid., 137.
3
Ibid., 183–86.
4
Woodruff Smith's account is functionalist and somewhat bloodless, but nonetheless valuable: Woodruff D. Smith, The Ideological Origins of Nazi Imperialism (New York, 1986). Sven Lindqvist's recent book is livelier, more imaginative, and makes many excellent connections, but it does not provide an analysis of the movement from brutal punishment, to massacre, to mass extermination. It ignores the central role of the military in exterminatory practices, and its account of South West Africa is inaccurate. Sven Lindqvist, “Exterminate All the Brutes”: One Man's Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide, trans. Joan Tate (New York, 1996).

-141-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 396

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.