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“Exterminate All the Brutes” by Sven Lindqvist Essay (Article)

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Updated: Oct 12th, 2021

In Part I of his book “Exterminate All the Brutes”, Sven Lindqvist embarks on a seemingly impossible task – proving to readers that Europeans, who became the undisputed masters of the world by the end of the 19th century, were inferior to the nations that they have conquered. The author does not seem to be bothered with the fact that the very premise of such suggestion appears as being utterly illogical: “Our cannons met little resistance among the peoples who were more advanced than we were”, and he continues on saying: “Preindustrial Europe had little that was in demand in the rest of the world” (Lindquist, p. 55).

It never occurs to the author that, despite the fact that Europeans did not have anything to offer to highly “civilized” savages, they nevertheless possessed plenty of glass beads, for which Natives in North and South America were willing to trade thousands of square miles of their “sacred” territory. Our sarcasm on this particular occasion is being quite a in place, as it shows why Europeans were able to conquer new lands with an amazing speed.

Apparently, the existential mode of White people was not subjected to their animalistic instincts. Their mind was capable of operating with highly abstract categories, which in its turn, established preconditions for the development of culture and science, as we know it. The author insists that the reason why European ships, filled with uneducated White barbarians, began to sail the planet’s oceans, is because of irrational greed, on the part of European explorers.

Had Lindquist ever set his foot onboard a sea vessel, he would know that ship’s crew has to work as one, in order for the ship to be able to reach its destination, after it becomes seaborne. This can only be the case with a crew that consists of highly idealistic individuals, who are capable of putting common interests above their personal agendas. Therefore, the blind greed, on the part of European sailors, could not have possibly been the only driving force behind European ships undertaking daring voyages, throughout the globe. Apparently, White people possessed spiritual qualities that allowed their fleets to “rule the waves”. Therefore, it was not the pure accident that Europeans were the ones to discover new lands, as Lindquist suggests.

In Part II of his book, Lindquist talks about the sheer brutality, with which the colonization of new lands has been historically marked. The author provides us with numerous examples of Blacks’ mistreatment in Africa, in a time when Europeans were spreading the light of civilization on this continent. However, Lindquist also suggests that European colonization in Africa often proceeded without being opposed by natives: “Opponents (Natives) learned all too quickly that it was pointless to fight against modern weapons.

They gave up before the British had the pleasure of wiping them out” (Lindqvist, p. 90). One of the reasons why Blacks were unable to effectively oppose White colonizers is because they were being indulged in never-ending tribal warfare, which still defines socio-political realities in Africa. In fact, the wholesale extermination of Blacks by Blacks has been going on for thousands of years, before Europeans even got the idea of turning native people in Africa into slaves.

The reason for this is quite simple – every African tribe considers other tribes as inferior. Given the fact that the reason why Lindquist decided to write his book was to promote the notion of European “historical guilt”, it comes as no surprise that he only mentions negative aspects of the colonial era. However, only a truly ignorant person can deny the fact that Europeans had turned African natives into the subjects of historical process; because, apart from exploiting them economically, Europeans had also built schools, hospitals, farms, churches, power plants, and railroads. However, once White colonial rule in Africa was over, Blacks ceased to be the subjects of the historical process, just as it was the case before Europeans came to this continent.

In 1994, two million members of the Hutu tribe were being slaughtered by Tutsi tribesmen in Rwanda, within a matter of few weeks, simply because Tutsi people consider Hutu people as being utterly ugly. This event had absolutely no effect on the course of the world’s history. Nowadays, the majority of people in Western countries are not even aware of this recent “holocaust”. It appears to be doubtful of whether Lindquist himself has ever heard of what happened in Rwanda in 1994, despite the fact that he claims to be the expert on African affairs. However, even if it was not the case, he would still refrain from mentioning the Rwandan “holocaust”, as something that does not correspond to the Liberal outlook on European imperialism.

In Part III of his literary “masterpiece”, Lindquist explores the ideological premises of White racism, because he considers them as being directly related to the mistreatment of Blacks in Africa, during colonial times. The author goes as far as blaming empirical science for providing White racialism with the ideological ground. For example, he mentions William Tyson’s famous book “Orang-Outang, or The Anatomy of a Pygmie”, in which Tyson happened to suggest the following: “In this chain of creation for an intermediate link between ape and man I would place our pygmy” (Lindqvist, p. 107).

Lindqvist refers to this statement as being utterly horrible, while forgetting that there was no concept of political correctness coined up in the 18th and 19th centuries, which is why biologists at that time were not afraid of publicizing the results of their field studies. The author also quotes from Charles Darwin’s “The Descent of Man”, who suggested that: “At some future period not very distant as measured in centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races” (Lindqvist, p. 103). Swedish professor considers such statements as being absolutely unscientific, although he fails to substantiate his point of view, in this respect. Apparently, a Swedish professor expects readers to simply agree with whatever he has to say as if being totally deprived of their sense of logic.

He keeps going on and on about how horrible it was for prominent European intellectuals of the time to openly come up with statements, which now would have been qualified as “hate speech”. However, he does not realize that his ideas in that respect often have an entirely opposite effect – after having read his book, many people become horrified by the fact that such blatant promoters of left-wing agenda as Lindquist, are allowed to brainwash people without being opposed.

In Part IV of “Exterminate All the Brutes”, the author decides to establish a link between European colonialism and the Jewish Holocaust, without realizing that, in the eyes of Jews, such comparison deprives the issue of the Holocaust of its “sacredness”. Apparently, Linquist has a hard time coming to terms with objective reality, because only a truly naïve person can think that trivialization of the Jewish Holocaust can go unpunished. It appears that while trying to appease “chosen people” the author has failed to notice that he had crossed a line because he actually dared to compare “God’s folk” to what Jews refer to as “goims” – a cattle: “Holocaust was not unique… the history of Western expansion in other parts of the world shows many examples of total extermination of whole peoples” (Lindqvist, p. 169).

Nowadays, statements like this can lead one straight to jail, because they can be interpreted as “Holocaust denial”. Suggestions that it is not only Jews, who have suffered during the course of WW2, have already caused many European intellectuals and historians, such as David Irving or Ernst Zundel, to find themselves behind bars. It will only be ironic if Lindquist will one day follow their footsteps, especially given the fact that deposing the myth of the Holocaust was the last thing on his mind, while he was in the process of writing his book.

In this part of this “Exterminate all Brutes”, Lindquist also strives to “enlighten” readers on why Soviet prisoners of war were being treated badly by Germans. Predictably enough, the author blames it on German “racism”, as if he had never heard that, prior to the outbreak of WW2, Stalin simply refused to sign Geneva Convention, which would guarantee Soviet prisoners humane treatment. He seems to be unaware that the notion that Germans considered Slavs as subhumans is nothing but Communist myth, which can be easily challenged by pointing out the fact that at least 2 million Russians and Ukrainians fought alongside Germans, during WW2. Thus, we can say that, despite the fact that “Exterminate All the Brutes” contains a lot of factual information, the points that are being raised in it, cannot be taken seriously.

Bibliography

Lindqvist, Sven “Exterminate All the Brutes: A Modern Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness”. New York: New Press, 1997.

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