Mr Darwin's shooters: on natural selection and the naturalizing of genocide

  title={Mr Darwin's shooters: on natural selection and the naturalizing of genocide},
  author={Tony Barta},
  journal={Patterns of Prejudice},
  pages={116 - 137}
  • T. Barta
  • Published 1 June 2005
  • Political Science
  • Patterns of Prejudice
Among Charles Darwin's first writings are reports on his encounters with indigenous peoples and the violence of European colonization. When he turned to evolution, the furore over mankind's place in natural history overshadowed the problem of how ‘natural selection’ might apply in human history. It was easy, in a nineteenth-century worldview, to see the disappearance of ‘savages’ as a ‘natural’ consequence of the advance of civilization. From a later perspective, colonialism often involved… 

A Yahgan for the killing: murder, memory and Charles Darwin

Abstract In March 1742, British naval officer John Byron witnessed a murder on the western coast of South America. Both Charles Darwin and Robert FitzRoy seized upon Byron's story a century later,

Darwin in India: Anticolonial Evolutionism at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

This article examines how Indian anticolonialists drew on Darwinism and evolutionary theory to resist British imperialism at the turn of the twentieth century. Drawing on archival material from The

Darwin, artificial selection, and poverty

  • L. Sanchez
  • Biology
    Politics and the Life Sciences
  • 2010
Abstract This paper argues that the processes of evolutionary selection are becoming increasingly artificial, a trend that goes against the belief in a purely natural selection process claimed by

“A thousand miles of cannibal lands”: imagining away genocide in the re-colonization of West Papua

Following recent calls to monitor intensifications of settler-colonial structures (Journal of Genocide Research, Vol 9, No 4, 2007, p 403), this article focuses on an as yet poorly recognized site of

Contemporary implications of a forgotten argument

This paper argues that the processes of evolutionary selection are becoming increasingly artificial, a trend that goes against the belief in a purely natural selection process claimed by Darwin’s

Oliver Haag The History of an Argument : Genocide in Australian

ver the last three decades, partly influenced by international discourse and research, the term ‘genocide’ has increasingly been used to study the history of Australia. It has been vigorously

Holocaust scholarship: towards a post-uniqueness era

This article examines the contemporary theoretical approaches that combine Holocaust studies and genocide studies, and the historiography of the Holocaust with the German occupation of eastern

Historical and Ecological Injustices Through the Lens of Genocide: The United Church of Canada’s Acts of Contrition and the Project to Decolonize North America

This chapter outlines the linkage between historical and ecological injustices in the contemporary discourses of Canada’s United Church. The first section identifies the Church’s historical role in

Decent Disposal: Australian Historians and the Recovery of Genocide

About the dispossession of Australia’s Aboriginal peoples there was no argument when the Europeans arrived. All land was claimed by the crown, which could then parcel it out to settlers in any manner

Scientific racism, race war and the global racial imaginary

Abstract The premise of this paper is the elucidation of a different ontology of global politics and order of the nineteenth century. International relations theory takes for granted a largely



The racial and biological interpretations of Nazi imperialism inevitably foregrounded here need to be corrected by the (no less Darwinian) political, military and economic rationale of German policy

  • On Hitler and the economics of Lebensraum , cf. Rainer Zittelmann, Hitler, the Politics of Seduction
  • 1999

The birth of the Ostland out of the spirit of colonialism', in this special issue

  • Vallentine Mitchell 2003) points to a continuing gap between research and the search for meaning in the Holocaust

A people that cannot assert itself must disappear and another must take its place. All creation is subject to this law

    Hitler's modern, scientific view of the world is emphasized on

      Tony Barta is an Honorary Associate in the School of Historical and European Studies at La Trobe University

        This appeal to the law of nature, and the equally devastating law of history, is my concern in 'On pain of extinction: laws of nature and history in Darwin, Marx, and Arendt

        • The Legacy of Hannah Arendt (forthcoming)

        For other signs of the new worlds upon us or possible, see Nicholas Rose

        • The politics of life itself', Theory, Culture and Society
        • 2000

        Introduction', 44Á/5. The lineages of biology and politics in imperial Germany and Austria did not all tend to the right

          Hitler's Table Talk , 44. On medical and military reasoning about populations conquered by Germany, see Paul Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe