Category: defectives

Eugenicists Shared in Common with the Nazis Concepts of the “Social Body.”

One of the under-appreciated elements of what animated the eugenics mindset was the view that each species could very well be conceived of as a ‘body’ of sort.  A different level of moral calculation could be applied to the ‘social organism’ or ‘social body’ then the individual.  This is no mere invoking of the ‘common …

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American and British Eugenicists Agree: Life Unworthy of Life

The phrase ‘life unworthy of life‘ is known particularly because of the fact that the Nazis used it when eliminating ‘defectives’ in their Action T4 project (and later, in reference to the Jews), but American and British Eugenicists also were known in terms of ‘lives unworthy of life.’  Quotes are provided below. ————- Herbert Spencer, …

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Mass Extermination and ‘Lethal Chambers’ Widely Considered by Eugenicists in America, England, and Germay

Long before the Nazis implemented the ‘Final Solution,’ American and English eugenicists had talked often of the use of ‘lethal chambers’ to deal with the pressing problem of the ‘unfit.’  You can imagine Hitler’s surprise, when, after acting on precisely what elites in America and England had long been advocating for, he was perceived as …

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The Lethal Chamber Proposal, 1930 Letter to Editor by Dr. Richard Berry

A little known fact is that those with a eugenics mindset had been talking about ‘lethal chambers’ and ‘segregation camps’ for a long time before the Nazis actually used them.  Here is one example. The Lethal Chamber Proposal To the Editor, Eugenics Review   SIR,-I observe in your issue of April 1930, page 6, that you …

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The Roots of the Concentration Camp Were American and British Eugenicists, Not Nazis

For what its worth, the very idea of the ‘concentration camp’ was as much American and British, if not more, as it was Nazi Germany.  These ‘segregation’ camps were seen as humane and hygienic ways to prevent the breeding of ‘defective stock.’  Quotes from Eugenicists discussing such camps are provided below.  No attempt is made …

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Abortion As Eugenics Tool: Harrison Brown and “The Challenge of Man’s Future”

Today, abortion is nearly always described in terms of a woman’s reproductive right in relation to family planning, but it is not understood that abortion was widely seen by eugenicists as a means of reducing the human population, and especially certain sub-populations (eg, black people, handicapped people, etc).  Part of this is intentional–if it was …

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Eugenics and Evolution are Incompatible with Charity and Altruism

One of the common themes of eugenic writers is that if Darwinism and evolution were properly understood, charity and altruism could very well inflict a great harm on a population, and indeed, threatening to do just that.  This post will catalog quotes of eugenicists making that argument. ——— From Madison Grant in The Passing of …

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Christianity and Eugenics Diametrically Opposed

One of the common themes that surfaces in the writings of eugenicists is how Christianity is the antithesis of the eugenics mindset.  Catholics in particular are often singled out.  No person educated in evolution and Darwinism could possibly stand opposed to eugenics–or remain a Christian.  At the very least, tenets of religious faith that stress …

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The Obstacle of Sentiment and Sentimentalists to Pure Scientific Application

One of the common themes that surfaces in eugenic writings is their annoyance that others do not act on the logical implications of Science.  Note that, in the main, they are not taking issue with people who do not agree with their conclusions, but rather those who do agree–but will not act on them.  This …

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