Exterminate All the Brutes

Topics: Colonialism, Europe, European colonization of the Americas Pages: 2 (551 words) Published: April 6, 2014

Exterminate all the brutes. This simple, but frightening sentence taken from Heart of Darkness, was what influenced Sven Lindqvist’s book, Exterminate All the Brutes. In this book, Lindqvist brings attention the connection between the holocaust and imperial colonialism that occurred in Europe and the nations in which Europe colonized. The ideology behind this book, is not that the holocaust was a unique genocide in and of itself. Lindqvist brings attention to the idea that Europe is deeply rooted with using genocide as a means to expand and get what they want. Europeans, in their conquest of many nations, has used genocide before (as we have seen with Native Americans, Africans, and many more ethnic groups).The circumstances in which genocide was initiated may have varied, however the idea has always been the same. Colonialism (which we might as well call genocide) has always started with one group- the group who thinks they are superior to another based on race or other factors- in which that group isolates the “inferior” group, whether that be through order, poverty, race, or worst of all- mass murder. Lindqvist also connects the ideas of Darwinism and how European colonists used this concept as a means of justification for the mass extermination of many native populations. The idea behind this, is that European colonists saw themselves as a superior “race of humans” compared to other groups, such as Africans, Native Americans, and ultimately Jews. In this sense, they saw themselves as stronger and better, and as the ultimate people who would survive in the long run. The central theme is that European colonists literally thought they were doing these “inferior races” a favor by hurrying up there extinction process that nature would eventually cause anyway, by means of deception and death.

We see an example of the deception theme in the part where Lindqvist discusses the Congo. Deceiving the native people by giving them tasks and orders; making them think...
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