Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Now there’s a term you don’t hear very often.

I’ve never heard it, Spotty. What does it mean?

We’ll let the BBC explain it to you, grasshopper:

The term Lebensraum was coined by the German geographer, Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904). During the last two decades of the 19th century, Ratzel developed a theory according to which the development of all species, including humans, is primarily determined by their adaptation to geographic circumstances.

Above all, Ratzel considered species migration as the crucial factor in social adaptation and cultural change. Species that successfully adapted to one location, he thought, would spread naturally to others. Indeed, he went on to argue that, in order to remain healthy, species must continually expand the amount of space they occupy, for migration is a natural feature of all species, an expression of their need for living space.

This process also applied to humans, who operate collectively in the form of 'peoples' (Völker), with one Völk effectively conquering another. However, according to Ratzel, such expansion could be successful only if the conquering nation 'colonised' the new territory, and by 'colonisation' he meant the establishment of peasant farms by the new occupiers.

Lebensraum was, of course, Germany’s rationale for expansion in the 1930s.

Now, and this is really important: Spot wants you, boys and girls, to go to the Bob Simon video that Spot has referred to several times, fast forward to about 9:40 and watch until the end, listening carefully to the mayor of a West Bank colony who talks in a couple of places about the role of the West Bank in the future of Israel.

Update: Link fixed. This is, of course, the same video that Spot has linked to before. Sorry for the mix-up.

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