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The Reactionary Utopian
May 4, 2015

From Darwin to Kevorkian 
A classic by Joseph Sobran
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[Classic: 4/15/1999] — In days of old, when the federal government usurped powers never granted to it, Americans said that the Constitution had been violated. Today we say the Constitution has “evolved.”

The idea of evolution has become a device for denying obvious contradictions. It means that truth is mutable, that a thing can somehow gradually turn into the opposite of itself.

In biology, of course, evolution is chiefly associated with Charles Darwin, but this was only one application. Karl Marx, adapting the ideas of the philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, applied it to economics and the state; not coincidentally, Marx was a great admirer of Darwin, whose thought he correctly saw as a cornerstone of modern atheistic materialism.


.. [Nazism] merely defined “progress”in a way liberals dislike. Like Communism, it condemned whole masses of people as insufficiently “evolved” and therefore
obstacles to progress.

 

Even churches aren’t immune to evolutionism. Christian doctrines, as about sexual morality, can “evolve” into liberal endorsements of practices traditionally and scripturally condemned as immoral. Some churches now ordain homosexual and lesbian clergy and perform homosexual “marriages.”

The word “evolution” is a synonym for development, but it also has approving overtones of improvement and “progress.” Our public schools, allegedly neutral about religion, teach children that they are the remote descendants of ape-like creatures, implying that they aren’t created in the image of God. So children routinely learn to think like materialists, even if their parents take them to church on Sundays.

Liberals generally favor the teaching of evolution precisely because it undermines Christian faith. But the theory of evolution
naturally “evolved” not only into Marxism, which many liberals have sympathized with, but into Nazi racialism, which all liberals abhor. Yet Nazism is a more plausible extension of Darwinism than Marxism is.

If we human beings are soulless systems of matter, with no divine spark, it’s only sensible to believe that different races probably “evolved” at different rates in different environments. Why assume they all reached the biological finish line at exactly the same time?

And if even morality “evolves,” why not draw the further inference that “inferior” races should be weeded out? Man now has the power, through science and state power, to decide what kind of people shall exist in the future. Nazism, from this standpoint, was highly “progressive.” To call it “reactionary” is illogical sentimentalism. It merely defined “progress in a way liberals dislike. Like Communism, it condemned whole masses of people as insufficiently “evolved” and therefore obstacles to progress.

 

 

The idea of evolution has become a device for denying obvious contradictions. It means that truth is mutable, that a thing can somehow
gradually turn into the opposite of itself.

Even the Spanish Inquisition, which liberals execrate, recognized that every defendant was owed an individual trial, because guilt was personal. As a result, it executed far fewer people than modern materialist states, whose “class” and “race” enemies were herded into boxcars. That Inquisition executed only a few thousand over three centuries. For Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, a few thousand victims was a slow month.

But eugenics — the science of racial improvement — is back, with genetic engineering, including experiments on human embryos and the use of fetal tissues. From the materialist standpoint, there is nothing wrong with destroying the human embryo or fetus, which, being mere matter at an early stage of development, has no “right” to exist.

“Rights,” after all, also “evolve.” They aren’t absolute. They are defined, as a practical matter, by political power. The materialist view is hostile to any sort of “absolute,” except political power itself. No wonder materialists have often supported totalitarian regimes, notably the Soviet Union. They also tend to favor the constant expansion of state power in the United States — and especially state-run education, at the expense of private and religious education.


The Inquisition executed only a few thousand
over three centuries. For Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, a few thousand victims was a slow month.

 

Christians in America have been slow to grasp that they live under a regime whose unspoken major premise is that we don’t have immortal souls. Liberal indoctrination teaches children that all earthly evils derive from our Christian heritage — the source Ages.

The chief practical result of the theory of evolution is the belief that human life isn’t particularly special or sacred. This belief has found expression in mass murder, in the bombing of cities, and in abortion clinics. Today new implications are still being found in it, as witness the career of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

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This essay was published originally by Universal Press Syndicate on April 15, 1999. It will be included in a new collection of Joseph Sobran columns titled Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society (fgfBooks, 2015).

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Joe Sobran was an author and a syndicated columnist. See bio and archives of some of his columns.

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