"Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough"
"Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough."
One thing that was missed by those who trashed the show Darwin's Deadly Legacy before they watched it (other related posts here and here), was that the segment about the Hitler connection was relatively small. It was only one part of an examination of the Social Darwinism and Eugenics movements and their varied aspects and "successes." As noted previously, it is well established that Darwinian thinking gave rise to the Eugenics movement. I did not realize how pervasive this movement was right here in the United States.
In the 1927 case of Buck v. Bell, the US Supreme Court upheld the right of the state of Virginia to sterilize a mentally retarded woman against her will. Writing for the majority, Oliver Wendell Holmes said this (bold emphasis mine throughout this post):
We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. 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.
"A Dead Weight of Human Waste"
Another enlightening segment of the show referenced a quote from Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Here is some of what she had to say in her 1922 book, The Pivot of Civilization:
The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous. Segregation carried out for one or two generations would give us only partial control of the problem. Moreover, when we realize that each feeble- minded person is a potential source of an endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.
Not so "pro-choice." In another part of the book, she writes:
But there is a special type of philanthropy or benevolence, now widely advertised and advocated, both as a federal program and as worthy of private endowment, which strikes me as being more insidiously injurious than any other. This concerns itself directly with the function of maternity, and aims to supply GRATIS medical and nursing facilities to slum mothers. Such women are to be visited by nurses and to receive instruction in the ``hygiene of pregnancy''; to be guided in making arrangements for confinements; to be invited to come to the doctor's clinics for examination and supervision. They are, we are informed, to ``receive adequate care during pregnancy, at confinement, and for one month afterward.'' Thus are mothers and babies to be saved. ``Childbearing is to be made safe.'' . . . .
. . . .
Such philanthropy, as Dean Inge has so unanswerably pointed out, is kind only to be cruel, and unwittingly promotes precisely the results most deprecated. It encourages the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.
So much for compassionate progressivism.
I do not have time at the moment to add my comments on what this all means to the current debate. I hope to post on that topic shortly. Until then, this link will give you a clue. Here is another. And how can you resist reading a post with the title "Penguins, Shy Swedish Females and the Non-Speciesist Imperative"?