Archive for the ‘eugenics’ Category

Eugenics defined

August 31, 2011

To-day the average reliance of civilization is based upon iron and steel, bricks and mortar, and we must change this to the construction and evolution of humanity itself.

Sanger, M.H., Individual and family aspects of birth control; in: Pierpoint, R. (Ed.), Report of the Fifth International Neo-Malthusian and Birth Control Conference, Given on July 11–14, 1922 at Kingsway Hall, London, William Henemann, London, pp. 30–32, 1922; p. 31.

But towards what ideal or goal we ask? Who decides or defines this ‘good’? What coercive measures will be used to attain this goal?

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Margaret Sanger’s Racism based on Darwinism

August 31, 2011

The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets. According to one writer, the rapist has just enough brain development to raise him above the animal, but like the animal, when in heat, knows no law except nature, which impels him to procreate, whatever the result.

Sanger, M.H., What Every Girl Should Know, Belvedere Publishers, New York, p. 40, 1980. A reprint of the original 1920 edition.

Darwinism, Racism and Eugenics

August 31, 2011

Sanger believed she was ‘working in accord with the universal law of evolution’.  She maintained that the brains of Australian Aborigines were only one step more evolved than chimpanzees and just under blacks, Jews and Italians.When arguing for eugenics, Sanger quoted Darwin as an authority when discussing ‘natural checks’ of the population, such as war, which helped to reduce the population. Her magazine even argued for ‘state-sponsored sterilization programs’, forcibly sterilizing the ‘less capable’. She won many academics and scientists to her cause, including Harvard University sociologists E. M. East, University of Michigan President Clarence C. Little and Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Alfred Meyer.

Sanger also made her eugenic views clear in her many publications, such as The Pivot of Civilization and Woman Rebel, stressing that birth control was not only ‘important with respect to controlling the numbers of unfit in the population’, but was the ‘only viable means to improve the human race’.  For example, she wrote: ‘Birth control itself … is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.’ She boldly proclaimed that birth control was the only viable way to improve the human race. And while in her later years Sanger redefined what she meant by the unfit, ‘she increasingly saw feeblemindedness, the bogey of all hereditarians, as antecedent to poverty and social organization in the genesis of social problems.’

Birth control leader Margaret Sanger: Darwinist, racist and eugenicist

Charles Darwin’s eugenic worries

July 25, 2011

…a most important obstacle in civilized countries to an increase in the number of men of a superior class” is the tendency of society’s “very poor and reckless,” who are “often degraded by vice,” to increase faster than “the provident and generally virtuous members.”

Darwin in The Descent of Man, quoted by Peter Quinn

Those vice-ridden lower class (‘poor’) people breeding away eh Charles? Ought to be stopped eh? Ah yes, that’s where eugenics sprang up!

Quinn’s judgement is worth quoting in full:

Sounding more like Colonel Blimp than Lieutenant Columbo, Darwin envisions a far grimmer future for races or sub-species less fit than the Anglo-Saxon. “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world,” he predicts. “At the same time the anthropological apes…will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state…even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

Darwin is cavalier about the extermination of lesser breeds. He estimates that minimal force will be required, for “when civilized nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race.” Even here, in Darwin’s view, only civilized races could “resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes,” a truth nowhere better displayed than in Britain’s imperial reach. In contrast, the “wilder races” showed the same lack of adaptability as their “nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never survived long, when removed from their native country.”

It is difficult to find amid this imperialist cant and racial mumbo jumbo the poet and humanist apotheosized by Gopnik. More often than not, instead of “humanism, in flight,” Darwin’s views are grounded in a faux impartiality meant to mask upper-class presumptions about the poor deserving their fate and colonialist indifference to the destruction of the “sub-species” occupying the space between Anglo-Saxons and apes.

 

August 17, 2009

I see no reason for attributing to man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to a baboon or a grain of sand.

…the sacredness of human life is a purely municipal ideal of no validity outside the jurisdiction.

He authored the landmark decision in Buck v. Bell upholding a Virginia eugenics law mandating the involuntary sterilization of people the State deemed undesirable.

It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.

United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; a consistent evolutionist.