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How the establishment fell for eugenics A shocking number of influential Britons used to think it necessary to wipe out 'inferior' citizens

George Bernard Shaw: one of many eugenicists we haven't yet cancelled. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images

George Bernard Shaw: one of many eugenicists we haven't yet cancelled. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images


July 7, 2020   8 mins

It isn’t the most lavish of memorials: a small stained glass window featuring a 7×7 grid of seven different colours. But on closer inspection you see that each colour appears once — and once only — in each row and column. This glorified Sudoku puzzle is called a ‘Latin square’, and is one of those things that mathematicians love to study, in search of the patterns that underlie reality.

At the bottom of the window is a simple dedication:

R. A. Fisher
Fellow 1920-26 1943-62
President 1956-59

What Ronald Aylmer Fisher was fellow and president of was Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (in whose dining hall the window was installed). He was one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century. He more or less invented the modern discipline of statistics. As if that wasn’t enough, he also made a vital contribution to the ‘Modern Synthesis’ — which rescued Darwinism from the doldrums and turned biology into a fully-fledged science. Richard Dawkins named him the “greatest biologist since Darwin”: Fisher “provided researchers in biology and medicine with their most important research tools, as well as with the modern version of biology’s central theorem.”

R. A. Fisher was, in other words, a foundational figure. Unfortunately, one of the things he founded was the University of Cambridge Eugenics Society. He was also a racist, telling a UNESCO enquiry that “available scientific knowledge provides a firm basis for believing that the groups of mankind differ in their innate capacity for intellectual and emotional development” (the opposite of what the enquiry concluded).

Last month, the college announced that Fisher’s window would be removed — following a campaign by Cambridge students.

Political correctness gone mad? Well, how would you like to eat below a memorial to a man who considered you racially inferior? As for concerns about erasing history, the window was only installed in 1989.

The real problem here is that Fisher was not some isolated crank. He was part of the much wider eugenics movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It can’t be edited out of our intellectual history, because for many decades, and to a shocking extent, it is our intellectual history. 

*

For obvious reasons, we view eugenic ideology through the lens of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Yet there’s another story that must be told — of how eugenics in Britain and America exerted an influence over the intellectual mainstream that outright fascism never did. Eugenic ideas were deeply embedded within almost every facet of modernity — shaping the thinking of movements, organisations and individuals that are still venerated today as icons of science and progress.

Taking Fisher as a starting point, one can, in the manner of a crazed conspiracy theorist, trace the links between many of the biggest names in science, literature, politics and social reform. Except that there’s no conspiracy — it’s all on record: a dense web of professional and personal relations that define the intellectual life of the era.

For instance, Fisher had an important mentor and supporter in Leonard Darwin — the son of Charles and the President of the Eugenics Education Society from 1911 to 1929. The EES was the focal point of the eugenics movement — almost every eugenicist that I mention in this article was a member of it.

The father of eugenics was Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, who coined the word and laid down its pseudoscientific principles. He was instrumental in founding the EES in 1907 with the 21-year-old Sybil Gotto. The EES became the (British) Eugenics Society in 1924 and then, much later in 1989, the Galton Institute. 

It should be said that the Institute has long repudiated its eugenic past. For instance this is what it’s website says in reference to Galton’s 1869 book Hereditary Genius:

“Galton devotes an entire chapter to an overtly racist view of intelligence, which uses a completely fallacious group of criteria to argue that Africans were of less ‘worth’ than Europeans. These views are shocking now, but were pretty representative of many at that time.”

It was indeed another time, but even so Galton’s prejudices were grotesque. This is clear from a letter to The Times, in which he advocated a scheme of racial replacement in Africa:

“My proposal is to make the encouragement of the Chinese settlements at one or more suitable places on the East Coast of Africa a par of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race. I should expect the large part of the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages living under the nominal sovereignty of the Zanzibar, or Portugal, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order loving Chinese…”

University College London, where Galton was based, is now in the process of renaming its Galton Lecture Theatre.

However, that’s not all they’re having to do. UCL also has (or rather had) a Pearson Lecture Theatre and a Pearson Hall named after Karl Pearson. He was a protege of Galton’s, a fierce rival of Fisher’s and, you guessed it, yet another raving eugenicist. His very real achievements in statistics and biology were horribly marred by his revolting opinions on “inferior races” and “degenerate and feeble stock”. That didn’t stop him from being offered an OBE and a knighthood — both of which he turned down because he was also a ‘principled’ socialist.

It may seem incredible to see such a combination of views, but before the Second World War it was unexceptional. Eugenic ideas were common among both Marxists and Fabians. The Left-wing eugenicists of the time included Sydney and Beatrice Webb, Harold Laski, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Julian Huxley and J. B. S. Haldane. They didn’t just hold these beliefs in awkward juxtaposition, but saw eugenics as an essential part of socialist project. In Shaw’s infamous words, “the only fundamental and possible Socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of Man.”

It wasn’t just socialists though. In 1899, Winston Churchill declared that his aim in life was the “improvement of the British breed.” He saw “the “feeble-minded” as a threat and in a 1910 letter to the Prime Minister, Henry Asquith advocated compulsory sterilisation as an alternative to confinement — a “simple surgical operation so the inferior could be permitted freely in the world without causing much inconvenience to others.”

Churchill was a Liberal at the time he wrote that — albeit one who had come from, and would return to, the Tory ranks. However, many life-long Liberals — including those intellectual titans John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge — were also convinced eugenicists. Keynes was a co-founder of the Cambridge Eugenics Society with Fisher — and continued to support eugenic ideas even after the Second World War. 

Beveridge was no better. In 1906, he stated that “the unemployable” should be supported by state, but at the cost of losing their rights including “the franchise… civil freedom and fatherhood”. In the 1940s, at the height of his influence, he argued that child benefits should be paid at a higher rate to middle class than working class families to boost the birth rate of the former.

Again and again we see the co-mingling of eugenic and progressive ideologies. Early feminism was no exception. That’s especially true of the first advocates of birth control — women like Alice Vickery, Sybil Gotto, Marie Stopes and, in America, Margaret Sanger. They were all active in what was euphemistically known as the ‘social hygiene movement‘ — a mixture of charitable action, social reform, finger-wagging moralism, class snobbery and, in many cases, outright bigotry.

Some of the worst offenders are still revered as feminist pioneers and forerunners of the sexual revolution. Marie Stopes has a reproductive health non-profit named after her, and yet she was a eugenicist through-and-through. In her 1920 book Radiant Motherhood, she looked forward to legislation that would “ensure the sterility of the hopelessly rotten and racially diseased”. Meanwhile, Sanger — the founder of Planned Parenthood — set out her ideology in a 1923 op-ed for the New York Times:

“Birth control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtless practised. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilisation.”

And there it is, the whole of the eugenic mentality distilled down to just two words: “human weeds”.

*

Confronted by the poverty and squalor of the fast-growing industrial cities, there is ample evidence that the intelligentsia felt not compassion, but deep revulsion, for those less fortunate than they were. Take this 1915 diary entry from Virginia Woolf:

“we met & had to pass a long line of imbeciles. the first was a very tall young man, just queer enough to look at twice, but no more; the second shuffled, & looked aside; and then one realised that everyone in that long line was a miserable ineffective shuffling idiotic creature, with no forehead, or no chin, & an imbecile grin, or a wild suspicious stare. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed.”

The more progressive intellectuals may have subscribed to various schemes for the improvement of society, but that did not preclude the most dehumanising attitudes to individuals that they saw as beyond help. Even the self-declared socialists, who supposedly had the best interests of the working class at heart, perceived much of it as an obstacle to progress. As H. G. Wells complained:

“We cannot go on giving you health, freedom, enlargement, limitless wealth, if all our gifts to you are to be swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny …and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict upon us.”

Socialism and eugenicism went together because the latter was a tool for getting rid of the people that supposedly couldn’t benefit from, and might overwhelm, the former. Or to quote Karl Pearson’s chilling words:

“No degenerate and feeble stock will ever be converted into healthy and sound stock by the accumulated effects of education, good laws, and sanitary surroundings.”

This was also the Bureaucratic Age — a time in which technocracy had yet to understand its limits. Everything, not just the economy, was to be managed from the top-down by an expert class: “No consistent eugenicist can be a Laisser Faire individualist”, exhorted Sydney Webb, “he must interfere, interfere, interfere!”

Eugenics stood at the intersection of so many powerful intellectual currents — so why didn’t it triumph completely?

In part, it was because modernism, though untamed by later doubts, had to contend with what was still a Christian society. The Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic currents in the great Victorian torrent of social reform took a long time to lose their full force. And thus in the twentieth century, the eugenicists were opposed head-on by Christian campaigners like G. K. Chesterton and Halliday Sutherland.

And yet, as we know, the twentieth century also saw traditional Christian morality lose ground to progressive forces across a whole range of issues — from abortion to the divorce law to Sunday trading. So why did the explicitly eugenic agenda — once part of the progressive mainstream — not advance? What happened to it? 

The short answer is that the Second World War did. But that’s not the only reason it lost its respectability. Even if the Nazis had never come to power, the ‘progressive’ eugenicists would have been exposed as the cranks that they were. Their demographic paranoia would have been shown to be baseless. The growth of prosperity and the extension of the welfare state demonstrated that no section of society was beyond help. Over the decades we greatly improved the material condition of our nation without recourse to the eugenic methods that a generation of intellectuals once told us were indispensable.

Clearly, there’s no fad so dangerous as one that spreads through the academic and cultural elites — especially one that categorises the rest of the population by things like race and class, and then makes sweeping generalisation on that basis alone. 

In 2020, we could look for more windows to remove and lecture halls to rename. We could stop putting on the plays George Bernard Shaw and stop reading the books of H. G. Wells. We could erase any tribute to Marie Stopes or William Beveridge. We could even get economists to stop calling themselves Keynesians. 

But all of that would be missing the point. After all, it’s not the madness of the dead we need to watch out for. 


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

“After all, it’s not the madness of the dead we need to watch out for.” – The final line that should send a shiver up the spine of everyone who believes in the right to freedom of opinion and speech. Eugenics has not gone away, it has just mutated into a different form, the control of thought.

The origins of this new Eugenics is based in identity politics and “No Platforming”. The idea that thoughts and words that are “unacceptable” to a specific group (ironically a lot of them would call themselves socialist and reject Christian values) should not be allowed to be expressed is an attempt to “cleanse” those opinions from the public sphere. Preventing the opinion from being spoken prevents it from being transferred. Simply put it is a from of sterilisation.

Eugenics also fostered an idea that there was a group of “sub human” who those who felt superior could abuse. This trait is very evident today, especially on Twitter. Anyone who expresses the wrong view is subject to abuse. The sense of “moral superiority” exuded by people who call themselves progressive is frightening. It’s not to long ago that a Labour MP (we know who) called for a Conservative woman MP to be lynched because he didn’t like her politics.
Then we arrive at the current situation, Black Live Matter! The whole idea of “White Privilege” is best explained by Eugenics. It suggests that a person’s skin colour is more important than any other factor. So we end up with the appalling situation where it is acceptable for a black university educated law graduate to abuse a white waitress, who has just served him, for being white. Now we hear reports of campaigns to stop students attending university because of the views they hold, with campaigns on social media to shame students is schools!

Eugenics is not a historical issue, it is alive and well in the 21st Century and being practised to cleanses views and opinions a small vocal mob have decided are unacceptable!

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Excellent, very insightful comment, thanks.

Pardel Lux
Pardel Lux
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Strange alternative reality you have made up there. You seem to think words that offend you are worse than deeds that kill others. You claim that “It’s not to long ago that a Labour MP (we know who) called for a Conservative woman MP to be lynched because he didn’t like her politics“, but it was a Labour MP that got killed for her ideas, not the other way around, if I remember correctly.Then you claim that “The sense of “moral superiority” exuded by people who call themselves progressive is frightening.” Reading you is frightening too, you know? You are very sure of yourself, I guess you twitter a lot. Bad sign.I believe in freedom of opinion and speech, and I belive in calling those who express views I find abhorrent racists, fascists, dumbheads or whatever they appear to me to be. That is also my freedom of speech. You may disagree with me, but you want to silence me. No thanks. You may have your opinion, you may express it, I may judge for it. Negatively in this case.I will not dwell on your fourth paragraph, it is a mess. You contradict yourself several times there, it would be a waste of time to answer. Suffice to say that I do not believe that what you write is honest. You are a one person mob and quite laughable. Just my opinion, of course, but I express it. Just like you, only better.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Pardel Lux

I think the point the above poster was trying to make, though, is that the terms ‘fascist’ and ‘racist’ have been broadened to encapsulate people who may believe that the current ‘antiracist’ movement may not be achieving what it claims to set out to achieve either because of well-meaning naïveté or willful ignorance.

I’m not sure why you got angry with him. I didn’t feel he said anything purposefully insulting.

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago
Reply to  Pardel Lux

“I believe in freedom of opinion and speech, and I belive in calling those who express views I find abhorrent racists, fascists, dumbheads or whatever they appear to me to be”.

In the spirit of your own ad hominem logic, is it alright that we consider your views abhorrent and start calling you a cultural racist depending on the skin colour of the person you name call, or a cultural fascist depending on the holder of a belief you consider to be abhorrent or maybe deep down you are simply a eugenicist who secretly wishes to exterminate people on the basis that you think they are human weeds.

Clearly in your cultural eugenics, you think nothing of attacking and abusing a person in the name of your belief in thought purity.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Pardel Lux

No I don’t do Twitter!

And you are entitled to your opinion. Interestingly you complained about these comments being deleted, yet they where just delayed! So you do have free speech yet JK Rowling, etc doesn’t.

I think your arguments are the mess!

Pardel Lux
Pardel Lux
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I do not know if you have not understood the article or have understood it only too well and just happen to disagree with the content. I wanted to answer more in detail but the comment was not published and I am not fanatical enough to write my critique of your poorly disguised classism again.

Pardel Lux
Pardel Lux
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

My hunch is that you would not find it ironic if you knew what responses this site does not publish but it sure refutes your argument.

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

The shocking and disturbing truth that underlies Progressive Eugenics. Rather than the human embodiment of genes needing to be cancelled, it is now the human embodiment of thoughts that need to be vanquished as human weeds.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

It’s all part of the same process, they just like to cancel what they don’t like

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

It’s an interesting analogy, and I think if we go up the hierarchy of abstraction, we do in fact see some parallels. The progressives of the early 20th century are not very different from the progressives of today in their ideology, which is effectively anti-invididual. No self-professed progressive I know would condone the practice of, say, mass involuntary sterilization or institutionalization of “undesirables,” and yet I see their efforts to improve society through government intervention, censorship, no-platforming, and hate/thought-crime legislation to be frighteningly similar to the efforts of their early 20th century counterparts. “All for the greater good,” as they say.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

Those who call themselves progressives always forget one of the key lessons of life – “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Speaking of “progressives”; only a passing reference to Marx in the article. He and his mate Engels were rabid racists and eugenicists. Their views on Negroes (as he called them when not using the other n word), Slavs etc. are utterly abhorrent today and pretty dodgy at the time.
Along with his mad ideas on economics, humanity and society he was a reprehensible individual on every level; liar, hypocrite and bludger; someone who’s “cancellation” I wouldn’t mourn.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

The left have spent 100 years rewriting their history. After all Hitler was a Socialist but they have re-branded him as “far right”. Mosley was the Labour MP for Smetwick before setting up the British Union of Fascists. (Could you imagine the stink if a Conservative MP had left to set up the BNP!). Socialism and (its counterpart) communism has been the biggest mass murder in history yet it is held up as something “progressive” and “caring”.

Also not mentioned was Labour MP Archibald Church proposed legislation for the compulsory sterilisation of “mental patients”.

The problem is this should not be one article but a line of articles showing how the left generally and Labour in particular have actually been the “nasty party” for their entire existence.

cererean
cererean
3 years ago

We didn’t stop eugenics because it is a “crank ideology”. It isn’t. Believing that human traits are not heritable is the crank ideology here.

We stopped it because sterilising people against their will is *morally wrong*. Eugenics works – humans, like other animals, are not immune to selection – but the moral cost of what was proposed was too high. *That’s* why we shouldn’t do it, not because of some pseudoscientific belief in blank slatism.

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
3 years ago
Reply to  cererean

Good point. We also stopped because the methods used in determining who was “undesirable” were seriously flawed. The rampant use of IQ testing (usually carried out by individuals who had no business administering any test at all) was a major problem. Children who were institutionalized in US “State Schools” on the basis of flawed tests were later found to have significantly higher IQs than they were initially assigned. Carrie Buck’s first child (before she was sterilized) was determined to be of at least average intelligence. And so on.

Matthew Edwards
Matthew Edwards
3 years ago
Reply to  cererean

Agreed. It is unfortunate that eugenics was often associated with concepts of racial purity and negative, forcible paths to its goal (like forced sterilisation). Those methods, along with the racial overtones of past conceptions of the issue, still colour people’s perception of what is, surely, a laudable goal of improving the genetic health of our species.

I find it hard to believe that many people would be against removing the many debilitating genetic diseases that can ruin lives, or removing the more common genetic predisposition towards other ailments. I think most people would be in favour of healthier, happier, more intelligent children.

There are of course valid concerns about how we get there. I would hope it goes without saying that we shouldn’t infringe on the reproductive rights of living people. Even incentive-driven programmes should be reviewed carefully. We don’t want to compromise the genetic diversity of our species by instituting some sort of cookie-cooker Better Man, but equally we don’t want this technology to be available only to the rich, heightening inequalities.

Those are important questions we should be tackling, rather than retreating into blank-slate denial of genetics and the advantages its study can offer.

Matthew Edwards
Matthew Edwards
3 years ago
Reply to  cererean

Agreed. It is unfortunate that eugenics was often associated with concepts of racial purity and negative, forcible paths to its goal (like forced sterilisation). Those methods, along with the racial overtones of past conceptions of the issue, still colour people’s perception of what is, surely, a laudable goal of improving the genetic health of our species.

I find it hard to believe that many people would be against removing the many debilitating genetic diseases that can ruin lives, or removing the more common genetic predisposition towards other ailments. I think most people would be in favour of healthier, happier, more intelligent children.

There are of course valid concerns about how we get there. I would hope it goes without saying that we shouldn’t infringe on the reproductive rights of living people. Even incentive-driven programmes should be reviewed carefully. We don’t want to compromise the genetic diversity of our species by instituting some sort of cookie-cooker Better Man, but equally we don’t want this technology to be available only to the rich, heightening inequalities.

Those are important questions we should be tackling, rather than retreating into blank-slate denial of genetics and the advantages its study can offer.

Robert Flack
Robert Flack
3 years ago

And today we have the same bigotry from socialists using derogatory words like gammon and Karen. White has become the race to be replaced, to be exterminated. Nothing changes the bullies just carry on bullying.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out. This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians, and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.
I don’t mean global warming (But, sounds similar, yes?))
I’m talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago. Its supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Winston Churchill. It was approved by Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, who ruled in its favor. The famous names who supported it included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; activist Margaret Sanger; botanist Luther Burbank; Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University; the novelist H.G. Wells; the playwright George Bernard Shaw; and hundreds of others.
Nobel Prize winners gave support. Research was backed by the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. The Cold Springs Harbor Institute was built to carry out this research, but important work was also done at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. Legislation to address the crisis was passed in states from New York to California. These efforts had the support of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the National Research Council.
It was said that if Jesus were alive, he would have supported this effort.
All in all, the research, legislation, and molding of public opinion surrounding the theory went on for almost half a century. Those who opposed the theory were shouted down and called reactionary, blind to reality, or just plain ignorant. But in hindsight, what is surprising is that so few people objected.
Today, we know that this famous theory that gained so much support was actually pseudoscience. The crisis it claimed was nonexistent. And the actions taken in the name of this theory were morally and criminally wrong.
Ultimately, they led to the deaths of millions of people. The theory was eugenics, and its history is so dreadful”and, to those who were caught up in it, so embarrassing”that it is now rarely discussed. But it is a story that should be well known to every citizen, so that its horrors are not repeated.

Michael Crichton – Appendix 1 to Climate of Fear

We’ve been here before. We seem to have been to a lot of these, or similar, places before.

The only thing humans seem to learn from history, is that we do not learn from history.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

One thing we might learn from history is that direct analogies between the past and the present don’t usually work.

Besides, your comment (or Crichton’s) commits a basic logical fallacy: you and he are saying “Eugenics was a dangerous scientific hypothesis; global warming is a scientific hypothesis; therefore the hypothesis of global warming is dangerous.” This is the equivalent of “All cats have four legs; my dog has four legs; therefore my dog is a cat.”

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

A rather disingenuous comment.

History rarely repeats itself, but it does rhyme. Mark Twain.

The still unproven hypothesis that has a global financial spend of almost 5 trillion dollars and requires advanced societies to return itself to the stone age is indeed very dangerous.

William Gladstone
William Gladstone
3 years ago

I think you are right, just look at the language the remainers have for the brexit voting public, stupid, racist etc. and the remainers more explicit bretheren the woke, cancel culturing, SJWs who see a hierarchy (categories) of oppressed and oppressors.

Harold Carter
Harold Carter
3 years ago

Eugenics was a very important – and explicit – part of Swedish Social Democracy; for (extensive) data see ‘Sweden’s Dark Soul: The Unravelling of a Utopia’ by Kajsa Norman – an irritatingly written book but important in its implications

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

A.N. Wilson once remarked that it’s no coincidence that the two most characteristic popular entertainment forms of the 1930s were the detective story and the crossword puzzle – forms in which there is a single correct solution. The attitude behind eugenics is, surely, the product of a similar mindset: the idea that it’s somehow self-evident as to what constitutes “heathly and sound stock”, or “the finest flowers.”

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

An interesting introduction to the subject of Eugenics, but one that failed to detail how extremely popular it was in the US, with the compulsory sterilisation plan, enacted in Indiana in 1907. Twenty nine states followed, California being the most enthusiastic!
There is even a rumour that after the triumphant performance of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, it was not Adolph who was enraged, but the US and UK, for all too obvious reasons. Subsequently, so the story goes, the British Medical Association (BMA), and the Welcome Foundation (WF) both commissioned ‘medical’ papers to stress the difference between black and white athletes, with the view of holding separate black and white Games in 1940. (Tokyo/Helsinki).
When trying to establish these ‘facts’ in the late 1970’s I received an ambiguous response from the BMA and a blank denial from the WF.
Finally I wonder if the Chinese are ambivalent about Eugenics or Genetic Engineering to give it a modern term? Your account of plans to populate the east coast of Africa, as Galton proposed will certainly fascinate, if not inspire them.

David Simpson
David Simpson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Since they’re doing their best to eliminate the Tibetans and the Uigurs and replace them in both places with Han Chinese, I think we can assume they are very pro-eugenics

advanceheating
advanceheating
3 years ago

Why is eugenics such a bad thing? The article doesn’t really cover it, apart from throwing a lot of dung around.

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
3 years ago

Well, the old testament won’t allow Jews to eat with the goyim. And the Hindu system is eugenically ‘racist’ through n through. Do why not western elites?

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
3 years ago

Herrnstein and Murray’s bell curve depends on statistics to support a eugenic conclusion re affirmative action in USA police recruitment…

David Bardell
David Bardell
3 years ago

Charles Darwin was no stranger to Eugenics
He had clear views. So too did he have prejudicial views on the indigenous population of some South American countries.
I look forward to the University renaming Darwin College.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Great article by Peter. Perhaps to avoid confusion with Ronald Fisher, Peter makes no reference to the great American economist Irving Fisher, who was the first president of the American Eugenics Society in 1922. He believed in birth control as a mechanism for reducing the numbers of people who he regarded as having inferior genetic endowments in the population, which for him included Chinese, the American Indigenous peoples, Russian peasants and blacks. See the article by Gregory N. Price and William A. Darity Jr., “The economics of race and eugenic sterilization in North Carolina: 1958″“1968″, which argues the genocidal eugenic sterilization policy of the North Carolina government, targeting black North Carolinans, was inspired by Fisher’s views. It is sad that such a brilliant economist held such vile views. I am not into monument toppling, but it might be an idea to replace references to the Fisher index with the Bowley index. (The Fisher index is used by both the United States and Canada as the index formula for measuring National Accounting volume aggregates, and is recommended for that purpose by the UN SNA2008 manual. The US Fed’s target inflation measure, the PCEPI, is a chain Fisher price index.) Fisher, as he acknowledged himself, was never the originator of the formula that bears his name, simply its cheerleader. Fisher himself ascribed the formula to the English economist A.L. Bowley, who certainly wrote about it before Fisher did. As far as I know, Bowley was never linked with the eugenics movement. He certainly never inspired any genocidal legislation.

diva1836pro
diva1836pro
3 years ago

woke anti racists practice today’s modern day eugenics

David Simpson
David Simpson
3 years ago

One interesting bit of history – American academics and diplomats who met Germans during the early years of WW1 were deeply shocked by the prevailing attitudes among the Germans supporting Darwin’s and Galtons ideas about evolution being about the survival of the fittest. The Germans saw themselves as “fitter” than their opponents and that the war was the best way of demonstrating this. The returning Americans gave the then relatively young Creationist movement a tremendous boost, out of opposition to the views expressed by the Germans in favour of Darwinian evolution. And that same German mind set led directly to the death camps in WW2. Arguably, however deluded, the Creationists at least chose life over a death cult.

Simon James
Simon James
3 years ago

Quite so Mr Franklin! Is anyone proposing that we tear down Durham cathedral because the Normans killed vast swathes of the English population, suppressed their language and culture, and gave their land to families who in some cases still own it to this very day?

Paul S.
Paul S.
3 years ago

As I understand it, it is established practice for women who are using the services of a fertility clinic (in the USA but possibly elsewhere) to peruse a catalogue of potential sperm donors which specify, one might say advertise, the physical and mental virtues of the listed donors. Is not this eugenics, albeit at an individual level? If it isn’t then what is the difference?

Philippa Taylor
Philippa Taylor
3 years ago

Did you know that Francis Crick was a eugenicist too? Yet just a few years ago a major medical research institute in London was named after him! Funded by some of our top medical research institutions, who either did not do their own research onto Crick’s eugenic beliefs or just ignored it. https://conservativewoman.c

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
3 years ago

So why not western elites?

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

This is quite a disturbing piece Peter but certainly one that needed to be written if only to expose the blatant hypocrisy that belies the so called purity of Progressivism.

Indeed it is additionally disturbing to read some of the comments below, whereby the Superior Inferior dynamics that has played a historical role in shaping Progressive beliefs are still being acted out with no shame whatsoever.

In fact, it would appear that the evolutionary biology of Progressivism is to recast their self appointed superiority in ever more sophisticated ways.

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
3 years ago

Wonderful piece, Peter. While writing my latest novel (Q), I dug up much of this material, and the quotes you include are all familiar to me. I don’t for a minute suggest we stop producing Shaw’s plays or burn Woolf’s or Wells’ books, but I continue to be baffled at the absence of *any* mention of the American or UK eugenics movements in high school history textbooks.

Why is this? My first guess is that too many of the early 20th-century eugenicists were (and still are) revered by modern liberals ” or, as in Helen Keller’s case ” completely untouchable. To point out their ideological failings would necessitate a massive erasure campaign. Imagine The sins of early Progressives like Sanger, Keller, Wells, Du Bois (yes, even him), Rockefeller, etc. being exposed. We simply don’t have an eraser large enough.

I’ve an op-ed essay out on submission on this absence of the UK/US role in the eugenics movement in our history curriculum. I doubt it will be picked up, and I find that frightening.

(Reposted because this comment, while approved, is not showing up in the comment feed.)

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago

The Virginia Woolf quote is chilling. Plus ca change. Many of those who like to think of themselves as enlightened and progressive are just plain nasty

Miguelito
Miguelito
3 years ago

Seriously? You list the names of the intellectual and scientific giants of more than a century and describe them as ignorant, evil “cranks” that promoted a “fad”. You don’t attempt to refute their reasoning in any small way. You don’t even extend your consciousness to ask why they did what they did. The ancient Greeks knew. All they had to do was look out their city gates to see humanity in its natural state and so created the great philosophies of the West to become something more. You don’t mention any science. This article doesn’t bother to distinguish between the meaning of eugenics and it’s historic practice. I am underwhelmed.

I am sure you have already categorized me within your list as an ignorant, fossilized, jingoistic relic of past that should be scoured from history. That’s OK, I’d love to be included in that list of giants. I have long studied human genetics and hope for more than “my paragraph” in the textbooks. You don’t know, but don’t write me or them off so soon. Let me tell you a few things about humans.

Humans are entering an unknown future and it will only be based on the great genetic wealth represented by ethnic variation of humanity that we will be able to adapt to that future. I make a poor target for accusations of racism.

Human evolution has been largely accomplished by the coming together of different peoples genetically and culturally. The world belongs to the hybrid and the future does as well. No existing race has the genetic potentials that the future will require. We will need all of them. It’s actually far worse than that.

Let’s get away from race to show you how silly your position is and what this is about. You are taking a moral position with no science or reason to support it. That’s an OK start because morality is extremely important. Racism has long been a moral issue and after the victors looked at the devastation of WWII they knew that in both the East and West that disaster had been largely a race war. They said that it could not be allowed to happen again. They took a moral position and told science to quit studying heredity because it was too often used to support racism and lead to wars like this. While that is an important moral position for deeper reasons than most would understand, the genes don’t care about human positions any more than does the current virus. Still, the moral dimension cannot be forgotten or ignored… even if the understanding of it is limited. The other important moral point is that having children is the foundation of morality. To tell anyone that they cannot have children endangers the moral foundation of society. That was the problem of historic eugenics, not the obvious observation that human genes needed improvement. … Remember, half the world has an IQ under 100. No matter how you use it, you are one of the lucky that is gifted.

As for the genetic reasons for eugenics, they are obvious and unavoidable. Eugenics is about improving human genetics. Its practice historically was preventing reproduction by “inferior” individuals and races. As it was practiced, that was a moral problem but we do have to “improve” human genetics if humanity is to survive as more than animals. The path will just be different but it will still be about improving the human gene pool.

Again, let’s leave race out of it. Let’s talk about one race. I don’t know, whichever race you want that is trying to survive in a civilization. The problem is the same for all of them. Humans left the tribal hunter-gatherer ecology when we created the farms and cities of civilization. We need to adapt to that new ecology, a dangerous and difficult time. Worse yet, we need to create that ecology because it doesn’t exist in nature. I’ve worked to detail how humans can adapt both genetically and strategically to a new ecology to replace that tribal ecology we left. We are not adapted to it. Worse yet, what we call human progress is the removal of natural selection. Natural selection is what keeps our genes healthy. A function of diseases in terms of human genetics is to remove de novo mutations that occur in each generation. Without normal levels of natural selection, we will develop a genetic load of broken genes that will destroy our civilization until we go back to a level where natural selection works normally… a time of short lives, ignorance, disease, hunger, and warfare. No matter what you want, that’s the facts of biology. We can’t allow natural selection to run its course for a number of reasons but essentially because the resource demands. We have already changed from a “quantity” strategy of large families to a “quality” strategy of smaller families with longer developmental periods and greater investment in each child. That investment cannot be wasted.. unless you perhaps want women to be relegated to breeding machines as nature does. The only solution is to replace natural selection. It can be done economically and ethically using pre-implantation artificial selection. It has to be done and soon because of the buildup of broken genes, de novo mutations, every generation. Most autism is from de novo mutations. For that matter, around half of all chronic mental and physical pathologies are from de novo mutations and that will grow as inheritable things do. Artificial selection is moral because it is about having healthy children, families, and communities – the basis of morality. The technology is already being explored. Dr. Dagen Wells was doing it years ago in the US and UK. It is being explored in China by other researchers. CRISPR isn’t an alternative. Artificial selection is an imitation to replace the level of natural selection we have already… already removed. The three levels of artificial selection are against broken or “bad” genes. Selection for “good” genes. Nature really can’t do that but humans can. The third level is selection for the stable hybrid. It’s a little more complicated but it is where the human future lies and part of why racism is so … stupid. No, it will not be just for the wealthy. It is something that effects everyone who uses genes to reproduce. It will be fairly economical and far cheaper than a problem pregnancy as well as far cheaper than the disabilities from broken genes. Everyone could have superior health beauty and brains. No, this isn’t about some Trans-humanist dream. This is about healthy humans that are adapted to the new ecology. It will also allow us to adapt to the more complex world of the new ecology, Civilization, that we are building. Intelligence is what got us here and we are going to need even more than we needed in the simpler tribal ecology. Artificial selection – positive eugenics, can lead to that. Genetics are the ultimate wealth. They are the gift that keeps on giving and can never be stolen. What is the monetary let alone moral value of health and intelligence? We are reminded of the value of beauty every day. If you are genetically gifted you might think your descendants won’t need to use artificial selection. They will. What about those that are not so gifted? Many people quite reasonably look at how the world is changing with fear, wondering how they and their children can possibly adapt and compete in it. Nature would kill them, but that doesn’t work well in what human morality has to be now. Artificial selection offers them the potential though for their descendants to accumulate better and better genes, generation by generation until they can compete just fine in the new ecology. Nature doesn’t work that way. Humans can.
All those intellectual giants you trash were right about the genetic problem. There are reasons why that included both the historic eugenics movements as well as the Nazis. Human genetics are flawed and they have to be improved is humanity is to survive as more than animals. There were moral problems with the methods available in the past. Now we have methods of improving the genetics of families and the human species that do not endanger the moral foundations we need for survival. That doesn’t change what those moral and intellectual giants knew in the past. What has changed is that we are lucky enough that there is a way to preserve our genetic wealth that doesn’t risk our moral existence as well. I doubt that you know the reasons they believed what they believed. You sir are an arm chair moralist. They knew the danger to humanity. Even with the incredible potentials available with modern genetic technology, I’m not sure it will not be too late. If you think we can reduce natural selection as we have with no consequence, you are going to get quite a surprise from the disaster that is coming.

The most powerful warriors are not those that that fight for power and glory, but those that fight for love and to protect their own. Those advocates of eugenics saw the problems humanity faces and some just wanted to improve humanity. Some though saw more clearly and were desperate to avoid the disaster they saw coming and wanted to save humanity. You don’t seem to see human weakness but still the great mass of men live lives of quiet desperation and it’s going to get much worse as our genes weaken generation by generation due to a well known constant, measurable, analyzable rate of mutation. We need to be better. Do you have a plan other than trashing those that would raise humanity to be more?

If you want to read the book that details how we can genetically adapt, see Genetics For A New Human Ecology or watch the video on YouTube. I am almost done with the follow-up book Strategy For A New Human Ecology” which details how we can adapt strategically by understanding human knowledge, philosophy, morality, and instinct.

Miguelito
Miguelito
3 years ago

Seriously? You list the names of the intellectual and scientific giants of more than a century and describe them as ignorant, evil “cranks” that promoted a “fad”. You don’t attempt to refute their reasoning in any small way. You don’t even extend your consciousness to ask why they did what they did. The ancient Greeks knew. All they had to do was look out their city gates to see humanity in its natural state and so created the great philosophies of the West to become something more. You don’t mention any science. This article doesn’t bother to distinguish between the meaning of eugenics and it’s historic practice. I am underwhelmed.

I am sure you have already categorized me within your list as an ignorant, fossilized, jingoistic relic of past that should be scoured from history. That’s OK, I’d love to be included in that list of giants. I have long studied human genetics and hope for more than “my paragraph” in the textbooks. You don’t know, but don’t write me or them off so soon. Let me tell you a few things about humans.

Humans are entering an unknown future and it will only be based on the great genetic wealth represented by ethnic variation of humanity that we will be able to adapt to that future. I make a poor target for accusations of racism.

Human evolution has been largely accomplished by the coming together of different peoples genetically and culturally. The world belongs to the hybrid and the future does as well. No existing race has the genetic potentials that the future will require. We will need all of them. It’s actually far worse than that.

Let’s get away from race to show you how silly your position is and what this is about. You are taking a moral position with no science or reason to support it. That’s an OK start because morality is extremely important. Racism has long been a moral issue and after the victors looked at the devastation of WWII they knew that in both the East and West that disaster had been largely a race war. They said that it could not be allowed to happen again. They took a moral position and told science to quit studying heredity because it was too often used to support racism and lead to wars like this. While that is an important moral position for deeper reasons than most would understand, the genes don’t care about human positions any more than does the current virus. Still, the moral dimension cannot be forgotten or ignored… even if the understanding of it is limited. The other important moral point is that having children is the foundation of morality. To tell anyone that they cannot have children endangers the moral foundation of society. That was the problem of historic eugenics, not the obvious observation that human genes needed improvement. … Remember, half the world has an IQ under 100. No matter how you use it, you are one of the lucky that is gifted.

As for the genetic reasons for eugenics, they are obvious and unavoidable. Eugenics is about improving human genetics. Its practice historically was preventing reproduction by “inferior” individuals and races. As it was practiced, that was a moral problem but we do have to “improve” human genetics if humanity is to survive as more than animals. The path will just be different but it will still be about improving the human gene pool.

Again, let’s leave race out of it. Let’s talk about one race. I don’t know, whichever race you want that is trying to survive in a civilization. The problem is the same for all of them. Humans left the tribal hunter-gatherer ecology when we created the farms and cities of civilization. We need to adapt to that new ecology, a dangerous and difficult time. Worse yet, we need to create that ecology because it doesn’t exist in nature. I’ve worked to detail how humans can adapt both genetically and strategically to a new ecology to replace that tribal ecology we left. We are not adapted to it. Worse yet, what we call human progress is the removal of natural selection. Natural selection is what keeps our genes healthy. A function of diseases in terms of human genetics is to remove de novo mutations that occur in each generation. Without normal levels of natural selection, we will develop a genetic load of broken genes that will destroy our civilization until we go back to a level where natural selection works normally… a time of short lives, ignorance, disease, hunger, and warfare. No matter what you want, that’s the facts of biology. We can’t allow natural selection to run its course for a number of reasons but essentially because the resource demands. We have already changed from a “quantity” strategy of large families to a “quality” strategy of smaller families with longer developmental periods and greater investment in each child. That investment cannot be wasted.. unless you perhaps want women to be relegated to breeding machines as nature does. The only solution is to replace natural selection. It can be done economically and ethically using pre-implantation artificial selection. It has to be done and soon because of the buildup of broken genes, de novo mutations, every generation. Most autism is from de novo mutations. For that matter, around half of all chronic mental and physical pathologies are from de novo mutations and that will grow as inheritable things do. Artificial selection is moral because it is about having healthy children, families, and communities – the basis of morality. The technology is already being explored. Dr. Dagen Wells was doing it years ago in the US and UK. It is being explored in China by other researchers. CRISPR isn’t an alternative. Artificial selection is an imitation to replace the level of natural selection we have already… already removed. The three levels of artificial selection are against broken or “bad” genes. Selection for “good” genes. Nature really can’t do that but humans can. The third level is selection for the stable hybrid. It’s a little more complicated but it is where the human future lies and part of why racism is so … stupid. No, it will not be just for the wealthy. It is something that effects everyone who uses genes to reproduce. It will be fairly economical and far cheaper than a problem pregnancy as well as far cheaper than the disabilities from broken genes. Everyone could have superior health beauty and brains. No, this isn’t about some Trans-humanist dream. This is about healthy humans that are adapted to the new ecology. It will also allow us to adapt to the more complex world of the new ecology, Civilization, that we are building. Intelligence is what got us here and we are going to need even more than we needed in the simpler tribal ecology. Artificial selection – positive eugenics, can lead to that. Genetics are the ultimate wealth. They are the gift that keeps on giving and can never be stolen. What is the monetary let alone moral value of health and intelligence? We are reminded of the value of beauty every day. If you are genetically gifted you might think your descendants won’t need to use artificial selection. They will. What about those that are not so gifted? Many people quite reasonably look at how the world is changing with fear, wondering how they and their children can possibly adapt and compete in it. Nature would kill them, but that doesn’t work well in what human morality has to be now. Artificial selection offers them the potential though for their descendants to accumulate better and better genes, generation by generation until they can compete just fine in the new ecology. Nature doesn’t work that way. Humans can.
All those intellectual giants you trash were right about the genetic problem. There are reasons why that included both the historic eugenics movements as well as the Nazis. Human genetics are flawed and they have to be improved is humanity is to survive as more than animals. There were moral problems with the methods available in the past. Now we have methods of improving the genetics of families and the human species that do not endanger the moral foundations we need for survival. That doesn’t change what those moral and intellectual giants knew in the past. What has changed is that we are lucky enough that there is a way to preserve our genetic wealth that doesn’t risk our moral existence as well. I doubt that you know the reasons they believed what they believed. You sir are an arm chair moralist. They knew the danger to humanity. Even with the incredible potentials available with modern genetic technology, I’m not sure it will not be too late. If you think we can reduce natural selection as we have with no consequence, you are going to get quite a surprise from the disaster that is coming.

The most powerful warriors are not those that that fight for power and glory, but those that fight for love and to protect their own. Those advocates of eugenics saw the problems humanity faces and some just wanted to improve humanity. Some though saw more clearly and were desperate to avoid the disaster they saw coming and wanted to save humanity. You don’t seem to see human weakness but still the great mass of men live lives of quiet desperation and it’s going to get much worse as our genes weaken generation by generation due to a well known constant, measurable, analyzable rate of mutation. We need to be better. Do you have a plan other than trashing those that would raise humanity to be more?

If you want to read the book that details how we can genetically adapt, watch the video Genetics For A New Human ecology. I am almost done with the follow-up book Strategy For A New Human Ecology” which details how we can adapt strategically by understanding human knowledge, philosophy, morality, and instinct.

advanceheating
advanceheating
3 years ago

So who can state was is incorrect with the working principles of eugenics?
The article doesn’t argue against the effectiveness or usefulness of it.

Tessa B
Tessa B
18 days ago

“Clearly, there’s no fad so dangerous as one that spreads through the academic and cultural elites — especially one that categorises the rest of the population by things like race and class, and then makes sweeping generalisation on that basis alone.”
I have been trying to digest the findings of US researcher Mum, Alison McDowell for several years. She has an amazing brain. Alison’s blog is “Wrench in the Gears”. I think it is important that more people check her work, especially now as we have an innovation principle as opposed to a precautionary principle. I would welcome Peter Franklin’s thoughts on Alison’s comments about Michael Young. She appears to link Michael Young with the history of the Labour Party, the Fabians and Eugenics. Does she have this wrong, including some comments she has made about the NHS? It would be interesting to know more about the context in which she made her comments (there is the genetics arms race to consider). I would be interested in Peter Franklin’s thoughts as to why her comments might need further clarification. Michael Young wrote a satire?
https://www.youngfoundation.org/about/history/
Note: Alison McDowell started her research as she was concerned about school closures. https://wrenchinthegears.com/2022/11/11/epic-health-and-omega-point-huxleys-eugenics-manifests-in-madison-wisconsin/
“Clearly, there’s no fad so dangerous as one that spreads through the academic and cultural elites..”
Important to think about “spread” this month (May 2024), as I understand decisions are being made…World Health Organisation (note One Health) and before the end of May, Defra will meet with stakeholders to confirm the next steps for the Genetic Technology Act. Some voices are disagreeing with Defra scientists. Contact Beyond GM for more information. https://beyond-gm.org/
“Taking Fisher as a starting point, one can, in the manner of a crazed conspiracy theorist, trace the links between many of the biggest names in science, literature, politics and social reform. Except that there’s no conspiracy — it’s all on record: a dense web of professional and personal relations that define the intellectual life of the era.”
The dense web…there are attempts by some to highlight the World Economic Forum’s influence on the UN. Meanwhile academics at Kings College London (possibly with influence) could be accused of dismissing legitimate questions, on occasion, as conspiracy theory and almost censoring further (scientific) debate so to speak. We all hopefully aim to get our facts straight, even if we make mistakes along the way. There are facts and there is wisdom? The electorate needs to get better at framing their questions and not get in a muddle (especially regarding Sustainable Development Goal pros and cons)…..because, just in some instances, there is no conspiracy – it’s all on the record (example: World Economic Forum Strategic Intelligence).
https://www.tni.org/en/publication/funding-for-profit-multistakeholderism
https://corporateeurope.org/en/food-and-agriculture/2018/05/embracingnature
https://usforthem.co.uk/campaigns/who-pandemic-treaty/
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute/assets/conspiracy-belief-among-the-uk-public.pdf
Keep talking.

a.aspasia
a.aspasia
3 years ago

Trump letting the pandemic run, is his Eugenics project- the essence of the Nazism.

scooper
scooper
3 years ago

An interesting informative article on eugenics: the takeaway: White supremacism was so thoroughly embedded in Euro-American culture that socialists and progressives *were” also infected by it. Good to know! But none of that indicates the conclusion that David Bell in his slurry of verbiage would have us believe: “a shiver up the spine of everyone who believes in the right to freedom of opinion and speech. Eugenics has not gone away, it has just mutated into a different form, the control of thought.”

This is pitiful when in the US one of the major political parties is intent on pursuing policies that are implicitly eugenicist in their refusal of: a) universal heath care; b) universal level of funding for education; c) reasonable taxation of the wealthy (i.e. to pre-Reagan years) to create policies around housing and the environment to minimize the damage of systemic inequalities. It’s the GOP that is implicitly social-Darwinist (eugenicist) in its political and economic ideology and politics. This has become totally clear through the COVID-19 pandemic, with the high proportion of deaths being among people with health conditions that are related to their economic status, i.e., their relative poverty and the necessity to work even when that is not safe. Class warfare in its racial key and political policies, as practiced by the GOP since Nixon’s “southern strategy” is far closer to eugenicist ideology than the excesses of the desire to get rid of racist and sexist rhetoric ” it is ridiculous to compare, as Bell does, “control of thought” with actual policies that maintain a vicious class system and flat wages for the working classes without the support of the kind of democratic-socialist policies that seek to mitigate the damage controlled by the lust for money and power on the part of the elites in capitalism.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  scooper

This is why I hate the left-right divide in America. We just need to be against censorship and eugenics no matter which ‘side’ it comes from.

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago
Reply to  scooper

This comes across to me as a very weak analysis that surreptitiously tries to mask your own eugenic thinking.

Within the context of your own Race and Class mental constructs, the GOP comprises of white and black, working, middle and upper classes so it is not clear to whom GOP eugenic policy is specifically aimed at.

Whereas it is as clear as day where your eugenics is directed, at anyone associated with the GOP.

Paul Mathews
Paul Mathews
3 years ago
Reply to  scooper

This is probably one of the better analysis/answers here and touches on what I wrote about in my book (Are they Serious?) about family planning in the Philippines, supported by none other than Sanger’s organization. What was/is scary is that Eugenics and Malthusianism are still around, and very subtle, that govt workers and others still operate within those discourses, ie. “ordinary” people are unaware of their own attitude. My argument in my book is simple: the elite (brown and white) thought of peasants as incapable of being uplifted; that being the case, then why did they institute a family planning program (which was meant? to uplift them? Policies do not have to be so stark as Cooper paints them, although they are often are. Perhaps the more subtle discourses that are the scariest.

Hugh Clark
Hugh Clark
3 years ago
Reply to  scooper

Wasn’t it Hillary Clinton who described half of all Republican supporters as ‘a basket of deplorables’? That seems to me to be close to eugenicist thinking and class warfare.