Race-Thinking Before Racism

The Review of Politics 6, no. 01 (1944): 36-73.


If race-thinking were a German invention, as it is now sometimes asserted, then “German thinking” (whatever that may be) was victorious in many parts of the spiritual world long before the Nazis started their illfated attempt at world conquest. Hitlerism exercised its strong international and inter-Europeanappeal during the ‘thirties because racism, although a state doctrine only in Germany, had been everywhere a powerful trend in public opinion. The Nazi political warmachine had long been in motion when in 1939 German tanks began their march of destruction, since—in political warfare—racism was calculated to be a more powerful ally than any paid agent or any secret organization of fifth columnists. Strengthened by the experiences of almost two decades in the various capitals, the Nazis were confident that their best “propaganda” would be their racial policy itself, from which, despite many other compromises and broken promises, they had never drifted away for expediency’s sake. Racism was neither a new nor a secret weapon, though never before had it been used with this thorough-going consistency.

The Review of Politics