Exterminate All the Brutes Essay

1866 Words Mar 11th, 2013 8 Pages

Sven Lindqvist’s “Exterminate all the Brutes” explores the idea that genocides have been deeply rooted in European thinking over the last century. It is written in the form of a travel dairy and a historical examination of European racism over the past two centuries. Lindqvist argues that the harrowing racism that led to the Holocaust in the twentieth century had its roots in European colonial policy of the preceding century. The act of genocide itself is not a new one. When we think of genocide today we think Rwanda and the Holocaust. Genocides have been validated by the idea of racial superiority, colonial expansion and imperialism. The most civilized of men are capable of the most brutal acts.
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Knowing that they could not be prosecuted or the idea that everyone else is doing the act as well gives people the perception that they are immune to prosecution. The same mentality is in those people who join mobs or the German officers who participated in the acts of the holocaust. There were large numbers of people doing the same act it became a social norm and therefore they were able do such horrible things that otherwise their own individual personalities would not have.
We are all limited to our own time of extinction, just because we were victorious before doesn’t mean we will be victorious forever (pg.79). Thomas Huxley who wrote about extinction talks about how there is nothing left no traces or evidence after a race has been completely wiped out (pg.80). This is true of indigenous populations which have been conquered by the white European nations, their traditions, customs values; history has been completely wiped clean as if they never existed in the first place. Entire villages, tribes have been wiped clean with the coming of colonization and replaced with the new foreign white populations.
The extinction of Indigenous populations in the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America and in the Andes did exactly what Huxley wrote about. Europeans invaded their land harboring diseases which the Aboriginals and Tasmanians had no immunities to, because they had never experienced another population of peoples

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