The seeds of the Total State were planted by three men in the 19 century. These three men had delusions of grandeur and believed they had the answers to all of mankind’s troubles and questions. They placed themselves above God. The seeds they planted quickly grew roots and sprouted into the Total States of the 20 century. These three men were Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Abraham Lincoln. The ideologies and actions of these men complimented each other and ultimately led to a level of death and destruction the world had never seen before.
In 1859, Darwin released “On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection, of the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” in which he invented the theory of natural selection. A decade prior to this Karl Marx published “The Communist Manifesto,” which advocated for an authoritarian collectivist society that would abolish individual liberty. This manifesto was so influential that almost every major society put some form of it in place in the 20 century, whether it was a watered-down form of socialism or full-on communism. But this influence was only made possible because of Darwin and his theories. Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection discarded God and consequently the idea of objective morality and the inherent worth of every individual. It was Marx himself who said “Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle.” By destroying the idea that God created us all and granted us natural rights, Darwin gave Marx’s theory a much-needed foundation. This allowed for Marx’s theory to spread, as people began to accept that individuals did not have rights and therefore, that “society” had the right to enforce its will on individuals. After all, if Darwin’s theory is true, then there is no purpose in life and we are all here by chance. And if this is true, then there is no such thing as right and wrong. This thinking, combined with Marx’s idea of a collectivist society centered around an all-powerful state allowed for the creation of the Total State in the next century. Hitler, who was an avowed socialist, stated that “the earth has been acquired on the basis of the right of the stronger.” The German dictator, along with the other leaders of the 20 century Total States, adopted Marx’s theories and Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” concept, thus leading to an all-powerful state deciding who the most “fit” were and who could and should be sacrificed and destroyed.
If Darwin and Marx were the originators of the Total State throughout the world, Abraham Lincoln fulfilled that role more specifically in the United States and, more importantly, was the initiator of the horrific Total Warfare tactics they would eventually use. In regards to being a forerunner of the Total State, Lincoln not only wrote about it but actually put it into place. Lincoln argued that states had no right to secede and therefore that the national government had the authority to quash any such attempt with the use of overwhelming force. The results of this were obvious: the consolidation of power into one solitary group, the defining feature of the Total States of the 20 century. This centralization of power by Lincoln was later praised by Hitler in “Mein Kampf.” Hitler later would echo Lincoln, promising Germany that he “would totally eliminate states’ rights altogether.” Thus, we see that Lincoln’s vision laid the groundwork for the Total State. But that is not all. He also created the precedent for the Total War tactics that the vicious states of the 20 century would later employ. President Lincoln waged “total war” on the South, laying waste to its land and killing civilians, including children. As Murray Rothbard stated, he “broke the 19-century rules of war by specifically plundering and slaughtering civilians, by destroying civilian life and institutions.” In fact, Rothbard declares, “by targeting and butchering civilians, Lincoln…paved the way for all the genocidal horrors of the monstrous 20century.” The Total States’ later use of these tactics, which were unprecedented in Lincoln’s time, would make the 20 century the bloodiest one in history.
The terror of the 20 century did not occur by chance. It was largely the result of the horrific ideologies and actions of three men who lived in the previous century. Thus, we must remember that ideas can have powerful consequences and that liberty must be defended with vigilance.
Derek W. Dobalian [send him mail] is a licensed attorney in Los Angeles, CA. His writing focuses on Christianity and political philosophy.
Copyright © Derek Dobalian