Eugenics

I knew
A man who
Was a progressive.
“The regressive
Tories” he hated.
He further stated
That “the unintelligent should not breed”.
Hitler’s seed
Runs through
Many a reactionary
And progressive too.

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10 thoughts on “Eugenics

      1. blindzanygirl

        Yes, always the danger. History repeats itself and the seeds remain. Thankyou for tackling this subject

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Indeed it could Mick. Support for eugenics ran across the political spectrum with the Webbs (and other Fabians) supporting it on the left and Churchill on the right. It pains me to acknowledge that the latter voiced support for eugenics as he is a person I admire (for his opposition to Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler, his wartime leadership and other reasons). Nonetheless he supported eugenics. They have, of course also been notable Conservatives, Socialists, Liberals and people of no fixed view who have opposed eugenic measures.

      Reply
    2. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Quite possibly Mick. It is, however interesting that China, relatively recently abandoned it’s one child policy which is (of course) a form of eugenics, (not the abandonment but the policy itself). Individuals also practice primitive eugenics, for example by aborting female foetuses in favour of male ofspring which has led to an imbalance in the sexes in countries such as China, with all the problems that flow from such practices. As science advances we will, no doubt see more calls for people to chose particular traits in their children. Its obviously a veritable minefield.

      Reply
      1. Mick Canning

        Yes, I’d thought of the Chinese example during this conversation. I think they bowed to pressure to end it, but looking ten or fifteen years ahead when there are at least another billion people on Earth, I wonder what will happen? And I think that those of us that are then unproductive pensioners might need to watch our backs…

    3. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      The spectre of Malthus is the uninvited guest who spoils the banquet. Or is he? There is a lot of evidence that as societies become wealthier people naturally have less children. Also as the influence of strict interpretations of religion (Catholicism but other forms also) fade, the use of birth control spreads which also tends towards a more manageable population. The bogeyman of overpopulation perhaps lurks in the shadows, but maybe he hides in the shadows of our minds rather than those of the real world.

      I remember a history teacher saying words to the effect of “the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc won’t disappear in my lifetime”. However they did and while he was still a comparatively young man. Granted China is rather different to the former USSR, however there exist similarities and its not impossible that the system which seems so stable (although not one I support) will, in time collapse. If this happens then the possibility of introducing eugenic measures becomes potentially more difficult (particularly if some form of “democracy” emerges).

      I think its unlikely that in a democracy such as Britain that pensioners will be deliberately killed to save resources. Most children, grandchildren etc love their parents/grandparents which militates against such a possibility, as do the free institutions of the UK. One must, however always remain vigilant.

      Best, Kevin

      Reply
      1. Mick Canning

        I hope you’re right, Kevin. The real problem that I see is that the birth rate might drop, but at the same time far more children survive to reach adulthood (not a problem individually, you understand!), so that the population continues to increase at a rapid rate. After all, if we go back a few hundred years, the birth rate was far higher, but there was a negligible population increase because at that time the majority of children died before they reached their fifth birthday.

        Another real issue is that in some countries, where there are a couple of ‘competing’ ideologies/religions, members of each are encouraged to have more children in a sort of ‘arms race’ against the other. And it is undeniable that population increase seems to be speeding up rather than slowing down, still.

        I did exaggerate about the potential dangers of being a pensioner in this country, of course, but it was to make the point that resources and services are certainly stretched, and it is not inconceivable that in the future some form of rationing may end up being put in place.

        I’m sorry if this all sounds rather gloomy, but I don’t see a happy resolution to these problems at any time in the near future.

        All the best, Mick

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