Global warming could cause us to become mass killers like Hitler

Global warming could cause us to become mass killers like Hitler

The Holocaust began with the idea that no human instinct was moral. Hitler described humans as members of races doomed to eternal and bloody struggle among themselves for finite resources. Hitler denied that any idea, be it religious, philosophical or political, justified seeing the other (or loving the other) as oneself. He claimed that conventional forms of ethics were Jewish inventions, and that conventional states would collapse during the racial struggle. Hitler specifically, and quite wrongly, denied that agricultural technology could alter the relationship between people and nourishment.

Hitler’s alternative to science and politics was known as Lebensraum, which meant “habitat” or “ecological niche”. Races needed ever more Lebensraum, “room to live”, in order to feed themselves and propagate their kind. Nature demanded that the higher races overmaster and starve the lower. Since the innate desire of each race was to reproduce and conquer, the struggle was indefinite and eternal. At the same time, Lebensraum also meant “living room”, with the connotations of comfort and plenty in family life. The desire for pleasure and security could never be satisfied, thought Hitler, since Germans “take the circumstances of the American life as the benchmark”. Because standards of living were always subjective and relative, the demand for pleasure was insatiable. Lebensraum thus brought together two claims: that human beings were mindless animals who always needed more, and jealous tribes who always wanted more. It confused lifestyle with life itself, generating survivalist emotions in the name of personal comfort.

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