“In every European country between 1870 and 1914 there was a war party demanding armaments, an individualist party demanding ruthless competition, an imperialist party demanding a free hand over backward peoples, a socialist party demanding the conquest of power, and a racialist party demanding internal purges against aliensall of them, when appeals to greed and glory failed, or even before, invoked Spencer and Darwin, which was to say, science incarnate . . Race was biological, it was sociological; it was Darwinian.”*Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner (1958), pp. 92-95.
The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was the first large conflict in which both sides used Darwinism as an excuse for their attempts to murder one another in organized warfare. *Nordau says it well:
The greatest authority of all the advocates of war is Darwin. Since the theory of evolution has been promulgated, they can cover their natural barbarism with the name of Darwin and proclaim the sanguinary instincts of their inmost hearts as the last word of science.*Max Nordau, “The Philosophy and Morals of War,” in North American Review 169 (1889), p. 794.
And the list can go on and on.