Is Eugenics Still Occurring?

Just the other day, one of my professor’s brought up the Lynchburg Story, a home for the “feeble-minded” which practiced eugenics by sterilizing its inmates in the 1930s-1940s.  I was shocked, especially since J.B.S. Haldane predicted exactly this occurrence in his mock essay within the article “Daedalus, or, Science and the Future.” (1923)  I did a little digging and learned about Carrie Buck, who was forcibly sterilized after taking her case to the Supreme Court.  Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. concurred with a lower court ruling that Carrie Buck “is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted….It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Multiple states passed sterilization laws after Carrie Buck’s case.  Not many years later, Americans method of eugenics inspired the Nazis.  “After a German sterilization law passed in 1933, the Nazis sterilized more mental patients in one year than had been cumulatively sterilized in the U.S. over several decades.”

But all this occurred in the past, right?  What about women who choose to have abortions because prenatal genetic testing determines the fetus has a genetic disease?  Granted, this is a parent’s decision instead of the government’s, but somehow I don’t think the government is mourning the loss of those children who would have cost them millions of dollars in care throughout their lifetime.  But still, are we practicing eugenics on ourselves by avoiding the birth of a child who could have a genetic disorder simply because they are not a perfect specimen of a human being?  This even brings up my last blog post about genetic testing on adults.  Do you choose not to marry someone because you both carry a gene for a genetic disorder?

Even doctors play a role in encouraging eugenics.  Kay Jamison, a woman with manic depression, was warned by her doctor that if she had children she could pass the trait on to them.

My point is, although eugenics is not enforced by a political entity anymore (in the US), it still may be occurring based on our decisions to have children or even with whom to reproduce.

A Quick History on Eugenics:

Laura Young

~ by younglj2 on February 13, 2010.

3 Responses to “Is Eugenics Still Occurring?”

  1. Moderator’s Note: This post is by a visitor to blog from outside of the Vanderbilt class on Genetics and Literature.

    There is a difference between enforcing something and ‘freely’ choosing to do something. I accept that the grey area may be issue to do with influence — and the ‘validity’ of that influence — bought to bear (such as the ‘doctors advice’) of a person. Nonetheless even this raises the aspect of ‘informed choice’. There is evidently a radical difference between being forcibly sterilized and making a personal choice (based on ones knowledge of personal and family health history) not to seek to create progeny!

    The difficulty must come when you have persons who appear to be unable to learn (i.e. cannot absorb and understand information that might allow then to make an informed decision) and how far external powers should go in then making decisions for them — especially when this affects their human rights. One assumes here that all humans are — at face value — deemed equal and to have equal rights, even if they are of low mental intellect and questionable moral behaviour (as judged by the standards of the day).

    Obviously the gainsayers (against any kind of imposed action that might be construed as of eugenic intent) will cite the concept of the ‘thin end of the wedge’ if any interference in human choice and human rights abuses occur. But the very real situation that is clearly arising in ‘developed’ countries such as US and UK is that educated and capable people are often making the choice (based on personal preference — such as focus on career — and/or possibly moral ecological concerns), NOT to bear children at all or to have but one child. This implies that their genetic impetus for the species as a whole will be at best limited or possibly ended… Whereas many (many!!) under-educated, under-informed and largely disinterested (in anything requiring academic or philosophical consideration) are spawning broods of children — virtually all of whom will be destined to similar lifestyle and action choices predetermined by a combination of genetic and social influences.

    The obvious consequence of this anti-eugenic process, that is the norm of developed nations, is the gradual decline in human qualities and standards (as is evidenced very clearly in the actuality of daily life!).

    Of course (given this short opportunity for comment) there is another deeper and darker layer of concern. Whilst it may appear that we are in the midst of a period of anti-eugenic human development (where eugenics is defined as: “the study and practice of selective breeding applied to humans, with the aim of improving the species” (ref: wikipedia!)) such that we effectively reducing the quality of the species… this may in fact be part of a grander eugenic plan gradually unfolding as a result of the machinations of the minority ruling elite.

    The lower-intellect, lesser-educated, easier manipulated masses will be useful canon fodder and ‘dirty work’ doers of the future ruling elite. the Alphas will indeed have their Delta ‘work drones’ — created by the anti-eugenic choices of those who are destined to be the forefathers of such ‘low-grade-humans’…

    What future for those who come from the middle ground — the educated, but power-limited Betas? they will simply diminish in numbers and gradually flow a path of auto-extinction by dint of failing to produce sufficient progeny… leaving the world to the few who wield the financial and corporate power!

    And ‘the masses’, will simply continue to be dumbed-down by ‘corporate/media-manipulated so-called-news’ and distracted via the combined weapons of neural-network- neutralizing influences of ‘prole-tv’ (soaps, lottery, celebrity shows, talent show and such claptrap) PLUS the insidious bio-chemically undermining impact of a diet of fast food, alcohol, and less than subtly encouraged sexual degradation!

  2. Moderator’s Note: This post is by a visitor to blog from outside of the Vanderbilt class on Genetics and Literature.

    (Continued response) Yet of course this is only part of the saga. For whilst it is all very well for the ruling elite to allow the cultivation of home grown dullards to do the drone work – through an apparent form of ‘anti-eugenic’, unwittingly-self-actioned, strategies – it is not so acceptable to have reams of scarce resource desiring (and consuming) individuals of other races being spawned all around the planet.

    This is where the reality of today’s clandestine eugenic activity takes an even darker turn.

    The vaccine related ventures of the 1970’s are now widely known and their effects in sterilizing certain impoverished Hispanic sub-groups are retold across the internet. Let it not be imagined then that such strategies are not still being wrought and implemented across the globe. Neither let it be assumed that the declining fertility of both males and females is a pure accident of modern society.

    The use of the African nations for large scale medicinal and pharmaceutical testing is obvious. The lack of appropriate aid and support (such as provisioning of clean water and adequate food – or the means to achieve the same) has lead to what is now almost certainly an epidemic of lifestyle related illness, classified as AIDS, and used to justify the international pharmaceutical demands and impositions. This provides them (the pharmaceutical corporations) the double benefit of having a massive test-lab, AND the consequent reduction in population, which is attractive to the eugenicists of the ruling elite and can be undertaken without any outcry from an effectively distracted public in the developed world.

    Vaccine regimes that undermine the natural immune system response, and (the related) increasing incidence of chronic diseases requiring a lifetime of medication, are just examples of the current tactics of the silent ‘neo-eugenicists’. This new form of eugenics does not simply have the goal of “…improving the species” but rather of making the species more malleable, manageable , controllable in respect of physical, mental and biological parameters. It also potentially limits lifespan and provides a mechanism for imposing euthanasia when required or deemed necessary.

    The original eugenics enthusiasts promoted their ideals under a banner of being “The Self Direction of Human Evolution”. The concept was a positive one for all of humanity. Today – within the deep recesses of secretive and powerful corporate entities the neo-eugenics has no such ‘generally’ positive aims. The aims of the new eugenics that we are all currently being subjected to without our knowledge or consent, is all about concentrating future power in the hands of an elite who will hold the keys to health for a dumbed-down population.

    Education = knowledge = power = control. But for those who desire ultimate power it is necessary to forestall the possibility that ‘just anyone’ can learn, know and understand, and hence gain any kind of personal or greater power.

    Therefore today’s eugenics is about creating deficient beings with limited ability to learn and achieve education = resulting in the mass of humanity having limited knowledge and understanding = rendering them dis-empowered and easier to manipulated and control.

    (in essence the answer to the question of this blog post “Is Eugenics Still Occurring?” is — of course it is — but not in the simple ways refered to within the post. Eugenics is central to the strategies of the ruling elite in their steady progress towards dominion over the human species. But it is no longer eugenics of the original and essentially positive kind for all humanity. It is the neo-eugenics of the power-seeking minority. They learned from Hitler’s errors that it is not necessary to create a superior Arian race through careful interbreeding — but much simpler to create an unquestioning ‘drone race’ through the steady and deliberate attrition of biological integrity, to serve the needs of a small group that plan to become the elevated and self-proclaimed-masters of humanity.)

  3. You are right, we are still practicing eugenics in a way today. Only now we call it genetic counseling. We mentor parents on risk to their offspring but we give them the right to choose.

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