The Ugly Roots Of The GAP’s Manifest Destiny
By Leon Donnelly
Ratzel was praising of American historian Frederick Jackson Turner who formulated his “Frontier Thesis” of American History in his essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893), which celebrated the irresistible march of white Anglo-Saxon civilisation across the North American continent as an evolutionary process, and highlighted Turner’s contrast of the “dynamic borders of American Westward expansion” with the static borders of densely populated Europe. I quote from Wikipedia on Turner: “He believed the spirit and success of the United States was directly tied to the country’s westward expansion. Turner expounded an evolutionary model; he had been influenced by work with geologists at Wisconsin. The West, not the East, was where distinctively American characteristics emerged. The forging of the unique and rugged American identity occurred at the juncture between the civilization of settlement and the savagery of wilderness. This produced a new type of citizen–one with the power to tame the wild and one upon whom the wild had conferred strength and individuality…As each generation of pioneers moved 50 to 100 miles west, they abandoned useless European practices, institutions and ideas, and instead found new solutions to new problems created by their new environment. Over multiple generations, the frontier produced characteristics of informality, violence, crudeness, democracy and initiative that the world recognized as “American.” According to Wikipedia by the time Turner died in 1932 60% of the leading History departments in the US were teaching American History courses in Frontier History along Turnerian lines.
Adolf Hitler himself saw in the American conquest of the West a model for Germany’s conquest of the East to achieve her divine right of “Lebensraum” there. In “Mein Kampf” Hitler sees the American expansion into the West as an expression of white Anglo-Saxon Germanic racial superiority. Hitler commends these American settlers for keeping their Germanic blood pure by not intermarrying with Native peoples, and drew from it his own version of Manifest Destiny where German blood has the divine right to conquer land inhabited by “untermensch,” who are not to be considered human beings by the Germanic conqueror but are to be mercilessly starved, slaughtered and for all intents and purposes made extinct for the purposes of “Lebensraum” for the “pure white race” of the Greater German Reich.
American National Socialists know what “Manifest Destiny” means. The Klu Klux Klan will know. And the Native Americans know what it means. Genocide. Genocide of the Native American people. In the year in which UN Special Reporteur on Indigenous Human Rights, James Anaya, has alerted the world to widespread Human Rights abuses against the Native Americans, presently & historically, the need to return to them stolen lands and to redress the traumatic historical effects of Manifest Destiny, this seems a curious & perverse slogan for Gap to offer the world.