Category: social organism

Galton: It will never come to lethal chambers!

After Francis Galton’s address to the American Sociological Society, “Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims” a certain Benjamin Kidd responds thusly: For Mr. Pearson, I think, proposed to give the kind of people who now scribble on our railway carriages no more than a short shrift and the nearest lamp-post. I hope we shall not …

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Foster Kennedy: Euthanasia for “Nature’s Mistakes” up to the age of 5

Kennedy’s address at the 97th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 1941 encapsulates well how the acceptance of evolution and utilitarian thinking are tied into arguments for eugenics (and euthanasia), which is ironic, of course, since many advocates for euthanasia deny such connections and modern proponents of evolution become apoplectic at the insinuation …

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Sydney Webb: The parasites should not be allowed to compete as wage-earners, for it prevents natural selection from working…

Sydney Webb in Industrial Democracy (regarding the minimum wage) – 1920  The problem of the Unemployable is not created by the fixing of a National Minimum by law. The Unemployable we have always with us. With regards to certain sections of the population, this unemployment is not a mark of social disease, but of social …

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Julian Huxley: Population Control, Eugenics, and Birth Control all part of the same Program

Contemporary advocates for birth control exhibit no awareness whatsoever that birth control was always conceived in the context of ‘eliminating the unfit,’ ie., eugenics.  Eugenics, in turn, was considered a straight-forward logical extension of Darwinism.  Eugenics was seen as human control of human evolution, and was always tied into discussions on ‘population control.’  These are …

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The Duty of the State in the Treatment of the Deformed: R. Z. Mason, Appleton WI, 1879

R.Z. Mason, mayor of Appleton, WI, “The Duty of the State in its Treatment of the Deaf and Dumb, the Blind, the Idiotic, the Crippled and Deformed, and the Insane.” [Source / Italics added, bold text added] In the progress of modern civilization, the state has come slowly to a recognition of certain duties and …

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Leon Cole on the Social Body and Our Duty to Future Generations

From The Relation of Philanthropy and Medicine to Race Betterment by Leon J. Cole, University of Wisconsin, at the First Conference for Race Betterment (1914) Among those who have in their treatment of this subject emphasized the importance of the natural selection viewpoint may be mentioned especially Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, and Karl Pearson, the …

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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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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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