Primary Source
Germany | Imperialism
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Dr. Carl Peters (1856-1918) on Socialism and Colonial Policy
It's (socialism's) greatest problem, to raise the standard of human life, the exploitation of the victory which man gained in the struggle with the surrounding environment, in order to add to his welfare and to strengthen his force, this problem is based on a national foundation. The forces necessary to achieve it are national, are dependend on the changing fortunes of the nation.

Socialism errs, if it assumes, this problem should be solved not for the own nation alone, but for the world, not for the lifespan of one nation, but for the relative eternity of development of mankind.

This endeavour is, by its nature, hopeless.

The struggle for survival will forever have winners and losers; with the reduction of the living space and elbow space for individuals it will become increasingly tough.

To abolish this struggle by a universal peace treaty is a noble wish, which lacks any prerequisite both in the nature of mankind and in history. What we want to prove in the following lines is the possibility to gain, for a significant period of time, a predominabce in this struggle for one nation, and based on this predominance to achieve for this nation a broader standard of living, a richer development, a higher standard of spiritual and material culture, as in the others.

And naturally we come to the conclusion that socialism can only mean to us, with the use of all our strength, resolute and unscrupulous to establish this predominance for Germany, and so, to solve the social question at least for our time and our people ...

Colonial policy wants to achieve nothing but to strengthen and enrich the stronger, better race, at the expense of weaker, minor ones, the exploitation of uselessly stored riches of those in the service of the cultural development of these.

It is a wrong concept, to which the Germans are especially prone and which has to be refuted, if one believes colonial policy would strive to raise only the moral and material elevation of the level of foreign peoples.

It shall be sufficiently far-sighted, to use this task as a tool to achieve their goal. The latter is the unscrupulous and resolute enrichment of one own's nation at the expense of other, weaker peoples.


from : Kolonial-Politische Korrespondenz (Colonial-Political Correspondence). 2. Year, Berlin, 9. and 16. February 1886;
Dokument in deutscher Sprache

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