IN a recent Thinker's Forum pamphlet entitled “The Nazi Attack on International Science”(London: C. A. Watts and Co., Ltd., 6d.), Dr. Joseph Needham presents a brief but telling analysis of the nature of Nazism, and describes some of the effects it has produced in science and learning both inside Germany and outside. Society is now passing through an era of change from individualistic capitalistic economics to some form of collectivism, and just as the earlier change from a feudal aristocracy to capitalist democracy was marked by violent upheavals such as the Thirty Years' War and the French Revolution, so Dr. Needham believes that Nazism and Fascism are by-products of the present phase of the evolution of society. The necessary conditions are two powerful groups between which there are relations of mutual fear; and the racketeer, in this case the Nazi, plays off one against the other. The Nazis' have played this part successfully with the German people and also with other nations. Having attained power, the Nazis had to have “anation of tools”. This they achieved by the doctrines of anti-intellectualism, racialism, restriction of science to matters of military value, and the principle of the 'leader'. Incidentally, Dr. Needham points out that the war between China and Japan has its origin in a similar racial-national spirit which has arisen in the latter country.
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Nazism and Science. Nature 149, 215 (1942). https://doi.org/10.1038/149215b0